Finals Forecast Update

In the December 2005 issue, we offered "educated guesses" about who might win gold buckles at this year's Wrangler® National Finals Rodeo. Since making those picks, several key competitors have made significant moves in the standings, and now warrant mentioning as title contenders.



Thanks to the significant money up for grabs at the season-ending Pace® Picante ProRodeo Classic in Dallas, Texas, Georgia's Ryan Jarrett just might give three-time all-around champ Trevor Brazile some competition for rodeo's most-coveted title. Jarrett is the only cowboy qualified to compete in two events (steer wrestling and tie-down roping) at Las Vegas' Thomas and Mack Center. Brazile won $8,550 at the National Finals Steer Roping in mid November and carries an $26,998 all-around lead into the NFR. Texan Cash Myers (steer wrestling) also might be a factor in the all-around race. He competed in the NFSR as well and is $39,518 behind Brazile heading into Las Vegas.

As hot as Jarrett has been during the season's closing weeks, we wouldn't want him chasing us right now. But Brazile will be one of the guys to beat in the tie-down roping in Las Vegas. And that means Jarrett will have to win often in his two events if he wants to overtake the defending champion.

Texan Jason Jeter earned his fifth straight NFR qualification thanks to a $20,000-plus payday in Dallas. Before the event, it appeared he'd miss out on the NFR this year. Despite a sub-par season, Jeter is suddenly as hot as anyone in the bareback-riding field. He enters the NFR more than $50,000 behind the leaders, so there won't be much pressure on him to win. That could be bad news for the guys at the top, all of whom are putting quite a bit of pressure on themselves to succeed. For now, the title's still firmly in the grasp of such guys as Will Lowe, Kyle Bowers and Andy Martinez. Three rounds in, it could be a different story.

Two months ago Sherry Cervi was $34,000 behind Linda Vick in the barrel-racing standings. As the NFR kicks off, she trails by less than $7,000. It's definitely nice to see her among the championship contenders once again. The two-time world champion's run to the top included big paychecks at the tour finales in Dallas and Omaha, Nebraska. And one thing we learned from those two rodeos is that her horse, Tinman, runs as well in the small buildings as any horse out there. Cervi and Tinman will be very consistent in Las Vegas, and that will make them tough to beat.

Those are the three major changes since we first made our NFR predictions earlier this year. Now we'll just have to sit back and see how it all plays out. Catch all 10 rounds of NFR action on ESPN and ESPN2. (Check your local listings for dates and times.)

Wrangler® National Finals Rodeo Qualifiers

All-Around Cowboy

1. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas $175,945

2. Ryan Jarrett, Summerville, Ga. $148,947

3. Cash Myers, Athens, Texas $136,427

Bareback Riding

1. Will Lowe, Canyon, Texas $127,811

2. Kyle Bowers, Brooks, Alberta $106,670

3. Andy Martinez, Pavillion, Wyo $106,666

4. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash. $94,417

5. Royce Ford, Kersey, Colo. $93,275

6. Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore. $90,596

7. Cody DeMers, Kimberly, Idaho $80,815

8. Eric Swenson, Bonham, Texas $78,684

9. Jason Jeter, Mansfield, Texas $75,783

10. Wes Stevenson, Kaufman, Texas $73,105

11. Forest Bramwell, Pagosa Springs, Colo. $69,553

12. Cimmaron Gerke, Fort Worth, Texas $69,265

13. Rowdy Buechner, Sandpoint, Idaho $68,764

14. Kelly Timberman, Mills, Wyo. $68,514

15. Scott Montague, Fruitdale, S.D. $67,200

Steer Wrestling

1. Jason Lahr, Emporia, Kan. $122,892

2. Ronnie Fields, Oklahoma City, Okla. $90,751

3. Stockton Graves, Newkirk, Okla. $86,221

4. Todd Suhn, Brighton, Colo. $81,606

5. Lee Graves, Calgary, Alberta $80,003

6. Shawn Greenfield, Lakeview, Ore. $79,657

7. Garrett Nokes, McCook, Neb. $73,676

8. Dean Gorsuch, Gering, Neb. $73,637

9. Ryan Jarrett, Summerville, Ga. $70,842

10. Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore. $67,979

11. Bob Lummus, Folsom, La. $66,726

12. Beau Franzen, Sidney, Mont. $65,055

13. Jeff Corbello, Iowa, La. $63,761

14. Birch Negaard, Buffalo, S.D. $63,411

15. Cash Myers, Athens, Texas $62,635

Team Roping Header

1. Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont. $95,521

2. Jake Barnes, Scottsdale, Ariz. $88,097

3. Travis Tryan, Billings, Mont. $86,796

4. Charly Crawford, Prineville, Ore. $75,144

5. Tee Woolman, Llano, Texas $70,938

6. Shain Sproul, Benson, Ariz. $67,745

7. Shane Schwenke, Harlem, Mont. $65,709

8. Steve Purcella, Hereford, Texas $64,485

9. Speed Williams, Llano, Texas $60,297

10. Wade Wheatley, Hughson, Calif. $52,752

11. David Key, Caldwell, Texas $51,325

12. Blaine Linaweaver, Leavenworth, Kan. $50,075

13. Matt Tyler, Lipan, Texas $48,760

14. Logan Olson, Flandreau, S.D. $39,299

15. Jay Tittel, Pueblo, Colo. $39,053

Team Roping Heeler

1. Patrick Smith, Midland, Texas $95,521

2. Kory Koontz, Sudan, Texas $88,097

3. Allen Bach, Weatherford, Texas $80,987

4. Richard Durham, Poolville, Texas $72,633

5. Cory Petska, Lexington, Okla. $71,413

6. Kinney Harrell, Brady, Texas $65,033

7. Jhett Johnson, Casper, Wyo. $65,006

8. Britt Bockius, Claremore, Okla. $62,794

9. Rich Skelton, Llano, Texas $60,297

10. Kyle Lockett, Ivanhoe, Calif. $52,752

11. B.J. Campbell, Benton City, Wash. $51,810

12. Cody Cowden, Merced, Calif. $49,131

13. Clayton Grant, Shandon, Calif. $46,436

14. Cody Hintz, Spring Creek, Nev. $39,299

15. Ryon Tittel, Pueblo, Colo. $39,053

Saddle Bronc Riding

1. Jeffery Willert, Belvidere, S.D. $159,539

2. Cody DeMoss, Crowville, La. $150,695

3. Bryce Miller, Kaycee, Wyo. $104,896

4. Dan Mortensen, Billings, Mont. $100,753

5. Rod Hay, Wildwood, Alberta $98,508

6. Ryan Mapston, Geyser, Mont. $90,204

7. Billy Etbauer, Edmond, Okla. $88,674

8. Bradley Harter, Weatherford, Texas $73,401

9. Rusty Allen, Lehi, Utah $70,456

10. Cody Wright, Milford, Utah $66,656

11. Josh Reynolds, Corvallis, Mont. $66,285

12. Chet Johnson, Gillette, Wyo. $62,499

13. Rod Warren, Big Valley, Alberta $59,669

14. Shaun Stroh, Glendive, Mont. $56,634

15. Morgan Forbes, Kaycee, Wyo. $55,746

Tie Down Roping

1. Fred Whitfield, Hockley, Texas $124,275

2. Mike Johnson, Henryetta, Okla. $120,680

3. Jerome Schneeberger, Ponca City, Okla. $104,556

4. Stran Smith, Childress, Texas $96,230

5. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas $92,080

6. Monty Lewis, Hereford, Texas $87,140

7. Doug Pharr, Resaca, Ga. $82,831

8. Blair Burk, Durant, Okla. $81,404

9. Cody Ohl, Hico, Texas $78,823

10. Matt Shiozawa, Chubbuck, Idaho $78,266

11. Ricky Canton, Navasota, Texas $76,665

12. Justin Maass, Giddings, Texas $74,813

13. Ryan Jarrett, Summerville, Ga. $73,425

14. Houston Hutto, Del Rio, Texas $70,861

15. Cade Swor, Winnie, Texas $69,575

Barrel Racing

1. Linda Vick, Hesperia, Calif. $110,866

2. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz. $103,893

3. Kelly Kaminski, Bellville, Texas $84,683

4. Terri Kaye Kirkland, Billings, Mont. $82,687

5. Denise Adams Fea, Lufkin, Texas $74,154

6. Shali Lord, Lamar, Colo. $72,548

7. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas $71,105

8. June Holeman, Arcadia, Neb. $63,869

9. Liz Pinkston, San Antonio, Texas $61,798

10. Paula Seay, Lake Butler, Fla. $61,264

11. Sheri Sinor Estrada, Alamogordo, N.M. $60,773

12. Melanie Southard, Scurry, Texas $53,560

13. Talina Bird, Post, Texas $52,952

14. Kassie Mowry, Springer, Okla. $51,961

15. Molly Powell, Stephenville, Texas $49,385

Bull Riding

1. Matt Austin, Wills Point, Texas $228,386

2. Bryan Richardson, Dallas, Texas $142,102

3. Dustin Elliott, North Platte, Neb. $126,652

4. Jarrod Ford, Greeley, Colo. $122,474

5. Steve Woolsey, Spanish Fork, Utah $113,090

6. Howdy Cloud, Kountze, Texas $110,453

7. Wesley Silcox, Payson, Utah $101,225

8. B.J. Schumacher, Hillsboro, Wis. $88,468

9. Bobby Welsh, Gillette, Wyo. $83,484

10. Clayton Foltyn, El Campo, Texas $81,516

11. Zack Oakes, Tonasket, Wash. $79,155

12. Cord McCoy, Tupelo, Okla. $78,195

13. D.J. Domangue, Wharton, Texas $74,922

14. Zeb Lanham, Sweet, Idaho $68,975

15. Davey Dyke, Fremont, Iowa $67,840