In Las Vegas, they are rolling into the weekend with world championships on the line. And if you’ve been following the Montana contingent at this year’s NFR, you got to feel pretty good about what you’ve seen so far.
In bareback, a couple of Montana cowboys are in the top 10. Caleb Bennett at number six in the world. Richie Champion is number five and the two well, hey’re traveling partners this week. Bennett is from Stevensville and over the summer he talked his partner into moving from Texas to Montana.
"Oh yeah we got him moved up too, him and his wife are loving it we are loving it and heck we may bring more bareback guys down before it's all said and done," said Bennett.
Champion added, "Like I said you marry a Canadian, and you move her to Texas, she spends the summer there she might leave you so it was time to go. You know we're big on winter sports and fishing, hunting and that plays I went to go check it out just because of Caleb, and I loved it, and now we're there and we're happy as can be."
On to steer wrestling, Ty Erickson came in at number one in the world standings. This week he briefly fell to second, but he’s now back in the top spot.
Meanwhile in team roping, three time world champion Clay Tryan, number seven in the world, and his cousin Chase from Helena was number one in the average for a while but has slipped to number 10 in the world standings.
Saddle bronc now and a long history from Montana in this category. Dan Mortensen of course is considered the greatest. He is a six time world champion and Chase Brooks is making his mark in Saddle Bronc; he’s a Deer Lodge cowboy and for him, it means everything to represent Montana.
"I've always loved rodeo in Montana being from Montana. People up there, it's good people, and the group that's down here it's pretty sweet. Bridger, Ty, everyone they're good competitors," said Brooks.
In tiedown roping, one Montana man is on the verge of becoming a world champion. Miles City's Haven Meged, a rookie at the NFR sits right now at number one in the world.
"I don't really know what to take away other than that, it's an awesome experience to be here and rope against the best in the world, this big of a crowd it's just a dream come true to make it my rookie year," said Meged.
The Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas has been the home of the NFR for over four decades and it continues to be one of the hardest tickets to land in Sin City. Stay tuned through the final three rounds for the rest of our coverage from the NFR.