Mason Clements was struggling during his first National Finals Rodeo. The cowboy just needed an extra incentive to break out of his funk.
Clements got his boost Monday when he found out Korkow Rodeo’s Onion Ring was his horse for the fifth go-round in bareback riding.
“He made me stub my toe in Nampa (Idaho), and that made me come back with a bit of vengeance, and I let him have it tonight,” Clements said.
Clements, 25, got his vengeance and a lot more in front of his friends and family among 16,944 at the Thomas &Mack Center. Clements, who was born in Henderson, won his first NFR go-round with a score of 88.5, taking home $26,230.77 for his memorable victory.
“Man, I’ve been dreaming of that … replaying every scenario over in my head,” said Clements, who left Henderson for Utah at age 5. “It went exactly as I rehearsed it. To do it in front of so much family, it makes it so much better.”
Clements often drove down to visit his family in Southern Nevada during the holidays. This December, he came down for a business trip, and it wasn’t going as planned.
“This is exactly what I needed for the next five rounds,” Clements said. “I was maybe too excited at first, but I’m ready to finish strong.”
Tim O’Connell is the NFR and world leader in bareback riding after five rounds. Clements is 12th at the NFR and ninth in the world.
Tanner Milan won the fifth go-round in steer wrestling with a time of 3.80 seconds. Tyler Pearson leads in the NFR standings, and Ty Erickson is the world leader in steer wrestling.
In team roping, Erich Rogers and Cory Petska continued their hot start after tying with Clay Tran and Jade Corkill for first in the fifth go-round with a time of 3.90 seconds. Rogers and Petska are atop the NFR and world standings.
Sterling Crawley had his best-ever NFR go-round after scoring 89 points to win Monday’s saddle bronc riding competition. CoBurn Bradshaw leads the event at the NFR, and Jacobs Crawley is the world leader in saddle bronc riding.
Marty Yates won his seventh career NFR go-round in tie-down roping with a time of seven seconds. Marcos Costa holds the lead at the NFR, and Tuf Cooper is the world leader in tie-down roping.
Lisa Lockhart and Ivy Conrado tied in barrel racing with a time of 13.59 seconds. With five rounds to go, Hailey Kinsel is atop the NFR standings, and Tiany Schuster in the world leader.
In bull riding, Sage Kimzey continued his dominant pace by winning the fifth go-round with a score of 89.0. Kimzey is also the world leader and second at the NFR. Trey Benton III is the NFR leader in bull riding.