NFR 2018 The PRCA National Finals Rodeo is always a big deal, but the 2018 edition marks the semi-retirement of one of the best cowboys in the sport. 23-time world champion Trevor Brazile is stepping back from the rodeo after this event, so it’s probably his last chance to go for No. 24.
Brazile finished in second place last year, losing out to his brother-in-law Tuf Cooper. This year will probably be his last year competing with NFR qualifying as the goal, so it’s also the last time we’ll see him on this stage.
Canadian Curtis Cassidy will also be a name to look out for. He finished sixth in the All-Around standings, so he’ll obviously seek to improve his status as well.
“I never want to count myself out, but with such a drastic change in the way I conduct my rodeo business, if I do ever make the Finals again it’ll be a bigger story than my retirement, because I’ll have gotten it done at just a handful of rodeos,” Brazile said, per Prorodeo.com. “The good news is that this is my decision, and I’m not being forced out because I’m hurt or too old.”
Here’s how you can catch one of Brazile’s last ride — both the United States and abroad. ProRodeoTV.com comes with a $79.99 annual subscription with the promo code NFRDEAL20.
How to watch the PRCA National Finals Rodeo
Dates: Dec. 6 – Dec. 15
Live channel: CBS Sports Network (United States)
Live stream: ProRodeoTV.com (Canada, international)
Tim O’Connell is expected to take home his 3rd world championship in a row. He has won a lot this season but the gap between first and second this year is not as large as it has been the past couple of years so there is a chance that the number two spot will take home the title. O’Connell broke the $1 million dollar career mark this year already at the age of 26, he is set to turn 27 on October 24th and he has already accomplished a great deal that he set out to do.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in. That was such a blessing to go out and accomplish a lifetime goal. But the next season starts right away, so there’s not much time to let it sink in,” O’Connell said. “It was hard to re-motivate. Where do you go from there? I did a lot of praying, talked to my mentors, me and my wife talked a lot about getting refocused.”
O’Connell has slipped a little this season and it will be interesting to see if he can continue his dominance in a sport that rarely has a repeat champion.
Caleb Bennett has been a contender as well this season finishing just $15,000 behind O’Connell. The 29-year-old has had the best season of his career and he has been a part of the PRCA since 2007. He finished 6th overall in the world last season and he just crossed the $1 million dollar mark for his career earnings in the last couple of months. Look out for Bennett to seriously contend in Las Vegas come December as he tries to unseat the two-time world champion.
Clayton Biglow also has a good shot at the world title this year. He was the PRCA rookie of the year back in 2016 in bareback riding. He is only 22 years old and the fact that he has made 3 straight NFR is incredibly impressive and the future is in his hands. He could easily contend for the world championship this December and he will be a figure in riding bareback for a long time.