By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
The 10-day party that is the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo opened up with plenty of scoring in the saddle bronc competition on the opening night Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
CoBurn Bradshaw just missed a win, collecting 87 points aboard Big Tex and earning a check for $20,230 to add to his season total.The Beaver native and brother-in-law to the Wright family finished a half-point behind round winner Hardy Braden.
Ryder Wright, who opened up last year’s WNFR with four consecutive round wins, finished third on opening night with an 86.5 aboard Black Hills. Jake Wright was the only other family member to collect a check Thursday night, scoring 85 points aboard Vitalix Hell’s Fire Hostage and finishing in a three-way tie for fifth with Heath Allen DeMoss and defending world champion Zeke Thurston of Canada.
In the season money through Round 1, Bradshaw kept his hold on third place and improved his money total to $154,845. Ryder Wright jumped two spots from eighth to sixth with $125,015, and Jake Wright moved from 10th to ninth with $105,411.
Jesse Wright, who qualified 14th, failed to score in Round 1.
Action from the WNFR continues nightly through Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. Mountain time. The event can be seen on CBS Sports Network — DirecTV channel 221 and Dish Network channel 158.