LAS VEGAS (AP) — Barrel racer Mary Walker closed in on a season championship in her first National Finals Rodeo appearance, finishing third at 13.90 seconds Friday night in the ninth round.
The 53-year-old Walker from Ennis, Texas, leads the standings with $233,302 with one round left. Second-place Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas, shut out after failing to place among the top six in the round, has made $194,224.
Walker also leads all NFR competitors with $106,010. She's second in the NFR aggregate standings with a cumulative time of 129.51. Brenda Mays of Terrebonne, Ore., who tied for fourth in 14.24, leads at 127.67.
Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, S.D., won the round in 13.66.
In saddle bronc, Jesse Wright of Milford, Utah, was sixth with a 75.5 on Cimmaron Jack, and remained first in the world standings with $209,218. Wright also tops the NFR saddle bronc earnings race with $76,121, and is second overall behind Walker.
Wade Sundell of Boxholm, Iowa, remained second in the standings with $163,458 after failing to finish in the top six.
Cody DeMoss of Heflin, La., second with an 83 on Multi-Chem Frustrated Fletch, leads the NFR aggregate standings with 712.5 points for a rodeo-high nine rides. He's third in the standings with $161,012.
Two-time and defending world champion Taos Muncy of Corona, N.M., won the round with an 84 on Awesome.
"Those guys (Wright, DeMoss and Sundell) have all been in this situation before and they know what it takes, and I just want to wish them all luck," Muncy said. "They all ride real good and it's going to come down to that last horse; to me, all of those guys deserve a buckle."
In bull riding, J.W. Harris of Mullin, Texas, remained the standings leader despite being bucked off Ugly Time in 5.6 seconds. Trevor Kastner of Ardmore, Okla., was the lone successful rider out of the 15 cowboys with an 84.5 on Bailey Hou.
Harris has earned $192,971, and Cody Teel of Kountze, Texas, was second at $190,494.
Beau Schroeder of China, Texas, leads the NFR aggregate standings race with four successful rides for 343.5 points, while Seth Glause of Cheyenne, Wyo., was second with four rides for 336 points.
In bareback, defending champion Kaycee Feild of Payson, Utah, remained atop the standings and NFR aggregate standings despite failing to finish in the top six.
Feild has earned $222,475. Will Lowe of Canyon, Texas, was second with $182,283.
Feild also leads the NFR aggregate standings with 748.5 points for nine rides. He leads all bareback riders with $80,636 in the 2012 NFR.
Steven Peebles of Redmond, Ore., won the round with an 84.5 on Vitalix Hell's Fire Hostage.
In steer wrestling, three-time and defending champion Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., remained the leader with $147,184 after he failed to place in the money with a 4.5. Wade Sumpter of Fowler, Colo., who also failed to place among the top six, was second with $129,059.
Les Shepperson of Midwest, Wyo., leads the NFR aggregate standings at 44.00 for nine rounds. Tom Lewis of Lehi, Utah, won the round — his first NFR victory — in 3.5.
In team roping, header Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, and heeler Patrick Smith of Lipan, Texas, remained the standings leaders with $182,903 for Brazile and $184,403 for Smith despite no-timing for the third consecutive round.
Header Kaleb Driggers of Albany, Ga., who has earned $160,730 and heeler Jade Corkill of Fallon, Nev., who has made $156,639, are the second-place team after finishing third in 4.7.
Header Spencer Mitchell of Colusa, Calif., and heeler Dakota Kirchenschlager of Stephenville, Texas, won in 4.0.
In tie-down roping, Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, remained first with a three-way tie for third in 7.2.
Cooper has earned $191,953, second-place Justin Maass of Giddings, Texas, has made $175,509.
Bradley Bynum of Sterling City, Texas, tied for first with Clint Robinson of Spanish Fork, Utah, at 6.9.
Adam Gray of Seymour, Texas, tops the NFR aggregate standings at 79.50.
In all-around, Brazile clinched his record 10th world championship and seventh in a row Monday night and has earned $298,626 in 2012.