His left hand crushed by his rope coils during the first round of the National Finals Rodeo, Fallon’s Jade Corkill feared the worst.
“Honest to God, that was the first time I ever thought I was actually gonna cut my fingers off,” he said. “But this isn’t the place to do it. I wasn’t gonna let go. I’m very lucky not to cut them off.”
Incurring deep cuts on three of his fingers, Corkill underwent daily medical treatment on his hand to keep alive his pursuit of his second straight team roping heeler world title.
His perseverance paid off in Saturday’s 10th and final round of the NFR at the Thomas &Mack Center, where Corkill and partner Clay Tryan were crowned world champions before an NFR-record crowd of 18,242.
“It was hard at the beginning, because we didn’t really figure out until the sixth round what we needed to do to get my hand to bend better,” Corkill, 26, said. “I had my coils come out of my left hand a couple times and almost lost my rope two more times after the first round, but now it seems all worth it that I did what I did.”
Corkill entered the final round with a lead of less than $4,000 over Travis Graves, but Graves and partner Kaleb Driggers — Corkill’s partner last year — didn’t record a time Saturday.
That paved the way for Corkill and Tryan, who, going last, finished their run in 5.80 seconds to finish sixth in the average and secure their second title apiece.
“It ended up we just needed a catch. That’s what kind of put us over the top,” Corkill said. “It just kind of fell our way.”
Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn, who didn’t record a time Saturday, won the NFR team roping average title and placed second in the world.
Corkill, who was runner-up to Logandale’s Randon Adams in 2008, became the first Nevada native to win two Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world titles.
“That means a lot,” he said. “I remember (1961 team roping world champion) Al Hooper — he was from Fallon and he won the world. I used to talk to him when I was little and I kind of always thought it would be cool if I could win the world.
“I’m proud to be from here and it means a lot to keep it in our state.”
Corkill also is the first repeat team roping champion since 2004, when header Speed Williams and heeler Rich Skelton won their eighth straight world title together.
“Going back to back means a lot because nobody’s done it since Speed and Rich,” Corkill said. “That says a lot about team roping and how tough it’s gotten for someone to go twice in a row.
“The bar’s eight. I’d love to win nine. Not that I ever will, but at least I’ve got a chance now. I’m shooting for nine.”
Trevor Brazile added to his PRCA record collection when he wrapped up his 11th all-around world title and unprecedented 19th world championship in the sixth round, breaking a tie with steer roper Guy Allen.
Brazile won the steer roping title, finished third in the world in tie-down roping and fifth in team roping (header) to earn $426,011 this year — the second-highest total in PRCA history. He also became the first PRCA cowboy to surpass $5 million in career earnings ($5,029,313).
TOP THREE: 1. Trevor Brazile (Decatur, Texas) $426,010.49; 2. Jade Corkill (Fallon) $181,554.53; 3. Tuf Cooper (Decatur, Texas) $165,576.06.
Kaycee Feild became the first bareback rider to win three straight world titles and three consecutive NFR average crowns. Jack Ward Jr. is the only other bareback rider with three straight NFR average titles (1974 to 1976) but he didn’t win a gold buckle in any of those years.
Team roper Leo Camarillo holds the record for most consecutive NFR average titles, with four, while Feild, Ward, steer wrestler John H. Jones Sr. and saddle bronc rider Rod Warren comprise the select group of cowboys who have won three straight.
WORLD CHAMPION: Kaycee Feild
NFR WINNER: Kaycee Feild
10TH GO-ROUND WINNER: Casey Colletti
Hunter Cure captured his first steer wrestling world title in his second NFR, climbing from seventh place to first while erasing a deficit of more than $43,000 to Casey Martin, who finished fourth.
Cure finished fourth in the 10th round and placed third in the NFR average standings with 53.1 seconds on 10 head — while winning more than $108,000 in Las Vegas — to separate himself from a pack of six cowboys who were in contention for the title entering the final round.
Elko’s Dakota Eldridge climbed from 15th to fifth in the world standings at his first NFR, where he finished second in the average and won more than $91,000.
WORLD CHAMPION: Hunter Cure
NFR WINNER: Bray Armes
10TH GO-ROUND WINNER: Wade Sumpter
SADDLE BRONC RIDING
Chad Ferley won his second saddle bronc riding world title, placing third in the 10th round with an 83.5-point ride on Painted Feather and finishing third in the event average.
Ferley held off Jake Wright, who tied for fifth in the final round and placed fifth in the average to finish about $10,000 behind Ferley in second place. Jake Wright entered the NFR in seventh place, behind his brothers Cody Wright and Jesse Wright, who finished third and eighth, respectively, in the world.
WORLD CHAMPION: Chad Ferley
NFR WINNER: Jacobs Crawley
10TH GO-ROUND WINNER: Cody Wright
Shane Hanchey erased a deficit of more than $60,000 to two-time defending tie-down roping world champion Tuf Cooper to win his first world title.
Competing in honor of his late grandmother, Lola McBride, who died June 12, Hanchey also won the NFR average title in a record time of 80.1 seconds on 10 head — which broke Fred Whitfield’s 16-year-old mark of 84.0 seconds on 10 head.
Hanchey rose from 10th place to first — the biggest climb by anybody at the NFR — and also set an NFR earnings record for tie-down roping, winning $134,765.63.
Cody Ohl, who won five rounds at the NFR, including the 10th (in 6.60 seconds) — and finished second in the world — held the previous event earnings mark of $132,652 in 2006.
WORLD CHAMPION: Shane Hanchey
NFR WINNER: Shane Hanchey
10TH GO-ROUND WINNER: Cody Ohl
The fifth barrel racer ever to earn checks in all 10 rounds at the NFR, Sherry Cervi cruised to her fourth barrel racing world championship and also claimed the Ram Truck Top Gun Award as the NFR’s top money winner in a single event, with earnings of $155,899.43.
Cervi also set a new NFR average record of 138.15 seconds, breaking Jill Moody’s 2010 mark of 138.26.
WORLD CHAMPION: Sherry Cervi
NFR WINNER: Sherry Cervi
10TH GO-ROUND WINNER: Lisa Lockhart
After finishing second in the world the last two years following three straight world titles, J.W. Harris won his fourth bull riding world championship. The Mullin, Texas, cowboy clinched the crown Friday in the ninth round, when he tied Trevor Kastner for first place with an 87.5-point ride on Little Shyster.
“Man, it’s been long overdue to say I’m the four-time world champion,” Harris said. “It should’ve been six in a row, but that’s neither here nor there.”
The 27-year-old Harris said this gold buckle is his sweetest one yet.
“This title feels better because there have been a lot of people out there saying I was too old to win another world title and that I was done,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m too old for anything and I think I have 10 more years left in me.”
WORLD CHAMPION: J.W. Harris
NFR WINNER: Cody Teel
10TH GO-ROUND WINNER: Cooper Davis
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0354. Follow him on Twitter: @tdewey33.