LAS VEGAS — Helena steer wrestler Ty Erickson dropped from the top spot in the world steer wrestling standings Tuesday night when defending champion Ty Waguespack of Gonzales, Louisiana, became the first National Finals Rodeo participant to win two go-rounds.
Also Tuesday, Caleb Bennett of Corvallis had a big evening, tying for first in bareback riding with an 88.5 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Bennett shared the top mark with Tilden Hooper of Carthage, Texas, and Clayton Biglow of Clements, California, and won $20,871.
And Bennett was glad to finally reach the winner’s circle.
“It was a good check for the night, and it will be my first trip to the South Point, so I’m looking forward to that,” he told the PRCA. “That was the first time I have been on that horse. I have seen him a bunch. I think tonight (You See Me) had a great night and it all worked out.”
In steer wrestling, Waguespack's 3.8-second run put him first in the average standings and world standings through six go-rounds. He also won the second go-round four days ago, in 3.6 seconds.
Erickson had a 4.4 and finished out of the money in 10th place. He is second in the world standings by just under $4,000 and is 11th in average.
Butte's Bridger Chambers, a Stevensville native, was fourth in steer wrestling with a time of 4.0. He pocketed $11,000, is fifth in the average standings and sixth in the world.
Chambers also was given credit for Waguespack's successful run.
"Bridger Chambers ran my steer in Round 3, and he made a really good run and was 4.3 and placed in the round on him,” Waguespack told the PRCA. “So I talked to Bridger a little bit before tonight’s performance, and it helped me get a little bit of a game plan on what I needed to do on that steer. I was glad we were able to make a good run.”
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Waguespack also was quick to point out the NFR has a long way to go. The event ends Dec. 14.
“We’ve still got four more steers to go, and we’re going to try and do the best we can on anything we draw,” he said. “I love being in this position (No. 1 in the world standings), and I always try to work to be in the driver’s seat. I feed off the confidence, and I’m going to try and keep it up.”
In other events involving Montanans on Tuesday:
• Richmond Champion of Stevensville was 12th in bareback riding with an 84.0. He is fifth in the world rankings, one slot ahead of Bennett, and third in the average.
• Chase Brooks of Deer Lodge tied for fourth in saddle bronc riding. He is seventh in the average standings and seventh in the world.
• Billings' Clay Tryan and partner Jake Long were third in team roping with a time of 4.30. Tryan is sixth in the world standings for headers and 14th in average.
• Chase Tryan of Helena and partner Brenten Hall were ninth in team roping. Tryan is first in average and ranks eighth in the world among heelers.
• Miles City's Haven Meged was eighth in tie-down roping. Meged is still first in the average standings and fifth in the world standings.
• In barrel racing, former Vida resident Lisa Lockhart was eighth and Hailey Kinsel Lockwood was third. Lockwood is ninth in average and fourth in the world; Kinsel is sixth in average and first in the world, less than $3,000 ahead of Amberleigh Moore, the winner Tuesday night.