By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
For the first time in the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, a saddle bronc rider picked up a second round win.
For the seventh time in the last two years, Ryder Wright earned a victory lap around the Thomas & Mack Center ring and continued his push toward the top of the standings.
The 19-year-old from Milford scored an 89 aboard 2 Cookies from Cervi Brothers Rodeo for his second round win in three nights Tuesday at Las Vegas. Wright beat Brody Cress by a half-point to earn the $26,230 winner’s check.
More importantly, Wright jumped up two spots and moved past defending champion Zeke Thurston into second place in the standings with $200,322. Wright leads the Canadian by $405 with four rounds remaining.
Beaver’s CoBurn Bradshaw scored 77 points on his Round 6 ride, but failed to cash a check for the third straight night. The Wright family’s brother-in-law fell from third to fifth in the world standings thanks largely to Cress’ runner-up showing in Round 6.
Bradshaw trails Cress by $2,000 for fourth place in the standings. The 23-year-old also lost his hold on the top spot in the average and fell back to third, just eight points behind Cress with 498.5 points on six head. Sterling Crawley is second, trailing Cress by 4.5 points – 506.5 to 502.
The winner of the average when the WNFR concludes Saturday night will collect a bonus check for $67,269.
Action from the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas continues tonight at 8 p.m. and can be seen on CBS Sports Network.