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Will the National Circuit Finals Rodeo return to Oklahoma City?

by Ed Godfrey Published: April 5, 2013
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/articleid/3780342/1/pictures/2003930">Photo - Matthew Smith rides during the bareback riding the National Circuit Finals Rodeo at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 5, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Matthew Smith rides during the bareback riding the National Circuit Finals Rodeo at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 5, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

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.”

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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