weather icon Clear

5 cowboys to watch at the NFR in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the Wild Wild West. At least for the next 10 days.

The world’s best cowboys and cowgirls will congregate in Las Vegas for the 60th annual National Finals Rodeo, which runs from Thursday to Dec. 15 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Dozens of cowboys and cowgirls will compete in seven events for world championships in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Here are six worth watching:

1. Trevor Brazile

The 42-year-old native of Decatur, Texas, became a rodeo legend in part because of his dominance in Las Vegas. He has the most all-around world championships with 13 and the most overall world championships with 23, the last of which he won in 2015. Brazile announced recently that this probably will be his final NFR, though he still plans to compete part time.

2. Tim O’Connell

O’Connell, 27, of Zwingle, Iowa, is the two-time defending world champion bareback rider and has victories in 23 events this season. He sits atop the standings with earnings of more than $187,000, leading second-place Caleb Bennett of Tremonton, Utah, by $15,000.

3. Sage Kimzey

The Strong City, Oklahoma, native is one of the sport’s young stars at 24 and is the four-time reigning world champion bull rider. He became the youngest millionaire in PRCA history during the 2016 NFR and has more than $297,000 in earnings this year, with victories in 20 events.

4. Jacobs Crawley/ Ryder Wright

Crawley, of Boerne, Texas, won the 2015 saddle bronc riding world championship and is in line to secure his second world title with an event-leading $168,000 in earnings this season. But the 30-year-old has stiff competition from Beaver, Utah, native Ryder Wright, a 21-year-old who trails by $3,000. Crawley and Wright have combined for 39 victories this season.

5. Hailey Kinsel

The 24-year-old from Cotulla, Texas, broke the arena barrel racing record twice during the NFR last year. She’s built on her success with a dominant 2018 season and sits atop the standings with almost $193,000 in earnings, about $46,000 more than reigning world champ Nellie Miller, who is second.

^ More NFR: Follow all of our National Finals Rodeo coverage online at reviewjournal.com/nfr and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
2019 NFR comes to Las Vegas in December

The National Finals Rodeo, the season-ending championship for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, will take place from Dec. 5 to 14 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

2019 PRCA world standings

Caleb Smidt of Bellville, Texas, is the PRCA all-around leader with earnings of $84,738.46 through June 23. The NFR will be held in Las Vegas from Dec. 5 to 14.

2018 NFR Las Vegas, Day 10 — PHOTOS

The National Finals Rodeo ended its annual 10-day run at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Saturday.

2018 NFR Las Vegas 10th go-round results

Here are the National Finals Rodeo tenth and final performance results from Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018.

Trevor Brazile wins 14th all-around title in final NFR

Trevor Brazile secured his 14th all-around championship Saturday by winning the final go-round in tie-down roping to finish with $335,679.98 at the National Finals Rodeo at the Thomas & Mack Center.