Cowley bareback rider JR Vezain placed third in the average after 10 grueling rounds on the backs of some of the toughest broncs in the rodeo world this week at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas held Dec. 5-14.
This is Vezain’s second year competing in the bareback competition at the NFR.
With scores of 77.50, 83.50, 78.00, 80.50, 80.00, 82.50, 78.5, 79.00, 80.50 and 81.50, Vezain had a total score of 801.5 after 10 rounds compared to the first place winning score of 823 by Kaycee Field and a second place score of 818.5 by Steven Peebles.
Vezain placed fifth in both the second and fifth rounds of the event and third in the eighth round. He tied with Wes Stevenson for fourth/fifth place in round nine and also tied with Clint Cannon for sixth place in his final round.
Vezain is now ranked in seventh place in the world standings based on his winnings of $143,924.
At 21 years old, Vezain quickly made a name for himself after winning the National High School title in 2009, National College title in 2011, Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit title, Canadian Pro Rodeo title and the 2012 Cody Stampede Rodeo.
In his first year on the Pro Rodeo circuit (2011), he was ranked fourth in the world in bareback riding and was honored as the Resistol Bareback Riding Rookie of the Year.
In 2013, he won the Clovis, Calif. Rodeo, the Red Bluff, Calif. Roundup, the Yellowstone River Roundup in Billings, the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo in Vernal, Utah, the Buc Days Pro Rodeo in Corpus Christi, the Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo in Alberta and was co-champion at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
By Patti Carpenter