Sherwood and Kesler Strike Again in Round 7

Average leaders Brown and Long take a no-time in treacherous Round 7.
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Average leaders Brown and Long take a no-time in treacherous Round 7.

PRCA ProRodeo Photos by Hubbell Rodeo Photos

The seventh round of the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was hard to watch for team roping fans, as eight teams took a no time on the third run on the first pen of steers. That didn't phase two-time world champion Matt Sherwood and young-gun Quinn Kesler, though, who stretched their steer in 4.10 seconds to win $26,230.77 a man.

"It was a little bit of a tricky round," Sherwood said. "We're fifth out, which is pretty early, but by the time we went, Luke Brown had already taken a no-time, and Kaleb Driggers had already taken a no-time, which are two of the top guys and Luke was winning the average."

TR Sherwood-Kesler r7 hubbell

An WNFR veteran, Sherwood realized before backing into the box that while a catch would help them, a go-round win would give them a chance to move up in the average and the PRCA world standings. 

"I thought maybe we had the toughest steer in there," Sherwood said. "I barely, barely bounced it on his head, and Quinn is riding a good enough heel horse that he could get up there and get in position to heel him and get tight."

The win moved them up one to eighth in the average and seven in the PRCA world standings. They've won $70,711.54 in the Thomas & Mack this year and have $139,560.61 on the year. 

TR Quinn Kesler r7 hubbell

"It's a long week," Kesler said. "I haven't really worried about a whole lot. Just roping the steer that's in front of me and focusing on that. It's been working out, so I'll probably keep that up."

Levi Simpson and Jeremy Buhler tied Cody Snow and Dugan Kelly for second and third with a 2.30, making Simpson and Buhler the only team to successfully rope all seven steers. The average leaders have won $84,250.00 over the last seven days, placing in five rounds. Simpson and Buhler sit sixth with $147,383.31 and fourth with $156,561.13, respectively. 

Jake Long's miss for Luke Brown dropped them only one place in the average to second behind Simpson and Buhler with a 32.80 seconds on six head. Junior Nogueira missed for Kaleb Driggers, roping them from fourth to sixth in the average with 28.50 seconds on. Clay Smith and Paul Eaves have been quiet thus far in the 2016 WNFR, but with a 4.7-second run in Round 7 moved up to third in the average with a 37.80 on six. They've won $45,538.46 this week and are fifth in the PRCA world standings with $153,034.28 and $154,323.10, respectively. Erich Rogers and Cory Petska took their first no-time, falling from third to fourth in the average with 42.80 on six. 

In the All-Around race, Dustin Bird stayed in the lead with a sixth place, 9.00-second run in the team roping, bringing his total to $187,950.27. 

Results: 

1. Sherwood/Kesler, 4.10, $26,230.77 each

2/3. Snow/Kelly and Simpson/Buhler, 4.30, $18,192.31 each

4. Rogers/Minor, 4.50, $11,000 each

5. Smith/Eaves, 4.70, $6,769.23 each

6. Bird/Cardoza, 9.00, $4,230.77 each

Average: 

1. Simpson/Buhler, 45.30/7

2. Brown/Long, 32.80/6

3. Smith/Eaves, 37.80/6

4. Rogers/Petska, 42.80/6

5. Minor/Minor, 56.80/6

6. Driggers/Nogueira, 28.50/5

PRCA ProRodeo Photos by Hubbell Rodeo Photos