Graves compared the National Circuit Finals Rodeo to “a mini-NFR.” The steer wrestling field includes former world champions Luke Branquinho, Dean Gorsuch and Jason Miller.
TRIO TRYING TO DEFEND CIRCUIT TITLES
Three qualifiers to the 2013 National Circuit Finals Rodeo are trying to defend titles they won a year ago at State Fair Arena: team roper Spencer Mitchell of Colusa, Calif.; tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa of Chubbuck, Idaho; and barrel racer Brittany Pozzi of Victoria, Texas, a former two-time world champion.
Last year, Mitchell was a late replacement for the injured Riley Minor.
LAST-MINUTE REPLACEMENT TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITY
The winner of the first round in the saddle bronc competition wasn't even supposed to be in Oklahoma City this weekend.
On Tuesday, Bradley Harter was sitting at his home in Loranger, La., with no big plans for his weekend.
That's when he got a phone call from an official at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association asking if he would be interested in being a saddle bronc riding replacement in Oklahoma City for the injured Sterling Crawley.
“They called me two days ago to replace him,” said Harter, a seven-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. “Thank God I was sitting at home and had nothing to do, so I hopped in the car and came up here.”
Harter rode Powder River Rodeo's Lipstick N Whisky for 86 points on Thursday night to win the first round at State Fair Arena.
“I had a many-time NFR horse that they win rounds on,” Harter said of the athletic bay. “I was really excited to see that was the horse I had.”