LAS VEGAS Will Lowe and Cody Ohl have been here before. And when the world champions in bareback riding and tie-down roping, respectively, see an opportunity to increase their chances of winning a gold buckle, they know exactly how to get the job done.
Such was the case Sunday during Round 4 action at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Lowe, the two-time and reigning World Champion from Canyon, Texas, further extended his lead atop the bareback riding world standings after winning his second round in a row. Lowe rode Sankey Rodeo's Parlor Game for 84.5 points, good for $16,022. His advantage swelled by more than $65,000, and Lowe now has a third world title well within his sights.
But he's not looking too far ahead.
"There's a lot of rodeo left," Lowe said. "I feel good, and feel the week's going good so far. But, you just take it one at a time. We've got the fifth round coming, so we're not even halfway through yet."
Ohl, the Hico, Texas, cowboy who's seeking his fifth tie-down roping world title and sixth overall, was among a three-way tie at the top of the Round 4 leaderboard. Ohl, Cade Swor and Jerome Schneeberger all stopped the clock in 7.4 seconds, and each cowboy claimed $12,748 for their efforts.
For Ohl, he saw his lead extend to more than $55,000 over his nearest competitor, three-time world champion all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile, who's well on his way to a fourth world all-around title, but has plenty of work to catch Ohl.
"The year that I've had is probably my second or third one like this, and it feels great," Ohl said. "I feed off it and the momentum coming in here, it just works out for me."
It worked out well for second-time Wrangler NFR bull rider Wesley Silcox. The Payson, Utah, cowboy scored 90.5 points on Growney Brothers' Golden Ghost to win the round and $16,022. Only Silcox and J.C. Bean (Goldendale, Wash.) recorded qualified rides as the bulls sent the other 11 riders to the dirt, including D.J. Domangue (San Angelo, Texas), who was transported to University Medical Center with a dislocated hip. He will miss the remainder of the event.
Other event champions Sunday were saddle bronc rider Chad Ferley of Oelrichs, S.D. (86 points on Flying U Rodeo's Sam's Town); steer wrestler Stockton Graves of Newkirk, Okla. (3.3 seconds); team ropers Jay and Randon Adams of Logandale, Nev. (4.2 seconds); and barrel racer Brandie Halls of Carpenter, Wyo. (13.77 seconds).
The Wrangler NFR, an annual Las Vegas event since 1985, is the world's premier rodeo. Only the top 15 contestants in each of rodeo's events qualified for the event, which will crown world champions at its conclusion on Dec. 9.
The event resumes with Round 5 on Monday at 9 p.m. (ET).