LAS VEGAS— Entering Saturday night, Wyoming's Brody Cress was projected in the PRCA standings to win his first saddle bronc world championship.
Cress gave it his best shot but all-around world champ Stetson Wright edged the Hillsdale cowboy, tying an arena record ride of 93 points to ice saddle bronc's gold buckle and over $500,000 this season with his bull riding money. Wright earned his third all-around title.
Cress closed with an 87-point ride aboard Flirtatious to win the NFR average by three points over Deer Lodge's Chase Brooks, who was riding with a broken foot and finished fourth in the world. Cress earned $325,745.56 this season while Brooks closed with $259,354.73.
Melstone newcomer Sage Newman capped his first NFR with an 83.5 aboard Tokyo Bubbles. Newman finished 11th in the world.
Miles City's Haven Meged was one of the NFR's hottest tie-down ropers.
Meged clocked a time of 8.5 Saturday night to briefly lead the average before Caleb Smidt (Bellville, Texas) clipped him with the next ride to win the average and his first world title.
The 2019 world champion placed second in the world and in the average to cap a terrific season. The Miles City cowboy placed in eight of ten NFR rounds to close the season with over $250,000.
The 2021 bareback championship came down to a final-round battle between Utah's Kaycee Feild and Jess Pope. Pope won the round but Feild won his record-setting sixth world championship with a second place finish Saturday. Feild closes the season with $357,419.52. Pope won $340,498.98.
Stevensville's Richmond Champion placed fourth in the average and eighth in the world closing with an 83 point ride. Travel partner Caleb Bennett of Corvallis split sixth place money to finish ninth in the world.
Edgar's Parker Breding turned in one of the best NFR bull riding performances, but Utah's Josh Frost was one ride better. Frost scored 92.5 aboard Top Shelf to win the average.
Breding finished second in the average and fourth in the world with year-end earnings of $237,248.28.
Sage Kimzey won his seventh bull riding title clinching it with an 88-point ride aboard Greeley Hat Works Centerfold on championship night. The Salado, Texas cowboy closed the season with $345,496.90.
Tyler Waguespack and Jacob Talley entered Saturday night separated by less than $120. Waguespack turned in a solid 4.1 in the final round to win his third world title with $289.790 season earnings. Will Lumas took the average crown and vaulted past Talley to finish second in the world.
Kaleb Driggers and Jr. Nogueira were crowned team roping champions. Clay Tryan and Jake Long placed sixth in the world while Brenten Hall and Helena's Chase Tryan took a no time Saturday and finished 15th on the season.
A tight barrel racing finish between Hailey Kinsel and Jordan Briggs went to Briggs for her first world title. The Tolar, Texas cowgirl entered Saturday with the average lead while Kinsel was second.
Briggs was the only woman to ride 10 clean rounds at the NFR without knocking over a barrel.
Gillette, Wyoming's Amanda Welsh in her first NFR, finished seventh in world and eighth in the average. Circle native Lisa Lockhart closed on a high note with a third-place time of 13.60 Saturday. She finishes 12th in the world and 13th in this year's average.