Clay Smith and Paul Eaves. – PRCA ProRodeo Photo by Phil Doyle
By Lane Karney
Special to Ropers Sports News
The biggest surprise of the team roping at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo may have been the lack of surprises. The two most dominant teams of the regular season—Clay Smith and Paul Eaves, and Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira—also left Las Vegas as the two most dominant teams at the NFR.
With the $10 million NFR playing such a vital role in crowning the world champions due to the large lump sum of money available at Rodeo’s Super Bowl relative to that in the regular season, virtually any team in the field has a shot at winning the world based on a stellar NFR performance. But this year’s race was as full of integrity as any I’ve ever personally seen. I can’t recall a better, more exciting and anticipated race between arguably the two best teams in the world today. It was a knock-down, drag-out knife fight that went the full 10 rounds.
Winners of the #13 WSTR Ariat Finale were Hank Robins (r) and Kycen Winns (l). Hank set a new record for most money won at the event as he also won the #10, plus the win in the #11 Consolation to take home $310,250 in cash alone. – Jennings Photography
LAS VEGAS, NV – The World Series of Team Roping (WSTR) took the helm at the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center, December 8-16, 2018, for their 13th annual Finale. Paying out a grand total of $13,142,000 over nine divisions, including a new #14 Super Qualifier and the popular outdoor Super Qualifiers. From the #14 Finale down to the #8, Champions were crowned and went home with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.