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Wade/McKnight win in Stephenville

by Tracy Renck | Sep 30, 2018

STEPHENVILLE, Texas – The sport of rodeo is a never-ending trip on an emotional roller-coaster.

Team roping partners header Tyler Wade and heeler Tyler McKnight know that all too well, especially after Sunday, the final day of the PRCA 2018 regular season.

The duo split the win at the 49th annual Cowboy Capital of the World PRCA Rodeo with Bubba Buckaloo and Hunter Koch. Each team had 3.9-second runs.

The win solidified Wade’s spot for the upcoming Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Dec. 6-15. McKnight, however, is waiting for the final official PRCA | RAM World Standings to see if he will join his partner.

“It was cool to finish the season with a 3.9-second run,” Wade said. “I was already in (the 2018 Wrangler NFR) from what I figured, and it will be cool to go back. It will be tough if (McKnight) misses the Wrangler NFR by a couple of hundred bucks. We will just have to wait and see.”

Wade was 13th in the Sept. 24 PRCA | RAM World Standings. McKnight, meanwhile, made a late charge to try to finish in the Top 15 in the heeler standings in hopes of getting into the Wrangler NFR.

Wade and McKnight earned $3,532 apiece for splitting the Stephenville win. They also pocketed $2,701 each for claiming the title at the American Royal Rodeo in Kansas City, Mo., with a 4.4-second run Sept. 29.

Wade made his lone Wrangler NFR appearance in 2016, finishing 12th in the world standings. McKnight’s one Wrangler NFR bid came last year, finishing 11th in the world standings.

Wade and McKnight made their run in Stephenville on Sunday.

“I knew if I won first I might have a chance to make the NFR,” McKnight said. “I took the first available shot, and it worked out. I don’t believe I will get in, but who knows. I will just keep an eye on the standings.”

The unofficial PRCA | RAM World Standings will come out Monday.

The hard part for McKnight is he has traveled down the road of narrowly missing the Wrangler NFR twice before. He was 17th in 2015 and 21st in 2016.

“It’s depressing,” McKnight said. “You put so much time into it all year, and if you make the Finals it is your bonus. I have been in this situation before, and if I had not made it (in 2017) I would be more upset, but now I just have to work even harder for next year.”

Other winners at the $125,890 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($2,331, tie-down roping, team roping and steer roping); bareback rider Seth Hardwick (89 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie); steer wrestler Tanner Brunner (3.5 seconds); saddle bronc rider Ross Griffin (86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Runnings); tie-down roper Marty Yates (7.2 seconds); barrel racer Teri Bangart (15.59 seconds); steer roper Garrett Hale (34.8 seconds on three head); and bull rider Aaron Pass (90 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Ace of Spades).

Yates' time was a rodeo record. The record was 7.3 seconds shared by Kurt Goulding (set in 2002), Fred Whitfield (2002), Tyson Durfey (2016) and Tuf Cooper (2017).

For more coverage of the 49th annual Cowboy Capital of the World PRCA Rodeo, check out the Oct. 5 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.

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