Texas team ropers Powell, Kirchenschlager win again at National Finals Rodeo

KEITH FREEMAN, Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Turtle Powell and Dakota Kirchenschlager won their second consecutive team roping round, this time in a round-two record time of 3.80 seconds on Friday night at the National Finals Rodeo.

Header Powell, of Stephenville, Texas, and heeler Kirchenschlager, of Morgan Mill, Texas, previously had placed first in a record opening-round time of 4.00.

Header Clay Tryan of Billings, Montana, and heeler Jade Corkill, of Fallon, Nevada, finished fourth in 9.40 and remained first in the world standings. Tryan and Corkill, the defending world champions, each have earned $129,490 in 2014.

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Powell is now second in the header world standings with $107,314 while Kirchenschlager is fourth among heelers with $103,954.

“Dakota roped that steer right there in the corner and we finished strong,” Powell said. “I think that’s what helped us the most in that run. My heeler will try it every time, so we have a chance to win all 10 rounds if I can catch ’em all.”

“I’m just glad to see our plan’s coming together,” Kirchenschlager said. “We need eight more rounds just like the first two. Our game plan of going at every single steer just like we did all year long is what we’re here for. There’s no sense changing what got us to this point.”

Other winners included Steven Peebles (bareback riding), Luke Branquinho and Kyle Irwin (steer wrestling), Jacobs Crawley (saddle bronc riding), Cade Swor (tie-down roping), Lisa Lockhart (barrel racing), and Aaron Pass (bull riding).

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Peebles of Redmond, Oregon, moved closer to bareback riding world standings leader Kaycee Feild of Spanish Fork, Utah, by winning round two with an 85 on Right Spur.

Feild, a three-time world champion who is in first in earnings at $191,386, didn’t place among the top six with a 77.5 on Beaver Fever. Peebles remains second at $145,932.

“Getting the first one out of the way makes everybody comfortable, I guess,” Peebles said. “I’m always trying to fix my rides and critique them. I watched that ride from last night a lot and found some little things to fix, and it worked out tonight.”

Four-time world champion Bobby Mote of Culver, Oregon, finished fifth with an 82.5 on RD Mercer. He is just $34,554 away from becoming the sixth individual to earn $1 million in NFR competition.

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Branquinho, the four-time steer wrestling world champion from Los Alamos, California, and NFR rookie Irwin of Robertsdale, Alabama, tied for first in round two with times of 3.6.

Nick Guy of Sparta, Wisconsin, who has earned $108,097 and is first in the standings after winning round one, placed third in 3.7 for round two.

Branquinho moved up from fifth to fourth in the standings and has earned $96,181 this season. He suffered a right arm injury on July 18 and was sidelined until the NFR’s opening round. After two rounds, Branquinho is tied with Guy for the NFR aggregate standings lead with a time of 7.2.

Trevor Knowles of Mount Vernon, Oregon, entered the NFR first in the world standings but now is second after placing fifth in 4.1. He has earned $96,707 in 2014.

Crawley of Stephenville, Texas, moved up from fifth to third in the saddle bronc world standings after winning round two with an 82.5 on Spade.

Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Nebraska, who won the first round with an 87 on Short Stop, was second in round two with an 82 on Mike & Ike.

Scheer remains second in the standings with $136,434, very close behind leader Taos Muncy of Corona, New Mexico, who was bucked off Tiger Warrior in round two. Muncy remains first in the standings with $136,533.

Defending world champion Chad Ferley of Oelrichs, South Dakota, didn’t record a score in his second consecutive round.

Swor of Winnie, Texas, won round two of tie-down roping in a time of 7.7 while Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, placed second in 7.9 and moved into second in the world standings with $123,885.

Two-time world champion Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, is first in the world standings with $153,822 despite not placing among the top six in both of the first two rounds

Defending world champion Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, Louisiana, didn’t place among the top six with a time of 13.30.

Lockhart of Oelrichs, South Dakota, remained in the hunt for a barrel racing world championship by winning round two in 14.29.

Lockhart, with $140,619 in earnings, is third in the world standings. She trails only Kaley Bass of Kissimmee, Florida, with $160,183 and Fallon Taylor of Whitesboro, Texas, with $150,474. Bass placed fifth in 14.66 while Taylor, who won round one, didn’t place among the top six.

Defending world champion Sherry Cervi of Marana, Arizona, placed third in a time of 14.35.

In bull riding, Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Oklahoma, who leads the world standings with $154,505, placed third with a score of 80.5 on Gin and Juice in round two. Kimzey is attempting to become the second bull rider to win the world championship during his rookie season.

NFR rookie Joe Frost of Randlett, Utah, who won the first round, finished fourth with a 74 on Shroom Bruizer. He is first in the aggregate standings with 159.5 points for two rounds.

Pass won round two with an 89.5 on Seeing Red.

In all-around, defending world champion Brazile, who has won the last eight and 11 of the last 12 world all-around titles, extended his lead over runner-up Tuf Cooper of Decatur, Texas, during round two. Brazile has earned $338,059 in 2014 compared to $158,537 for Cooper.