Night 5 of the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was filled with thrills, spills and disappointment, and that was just in the tie-down roping.
Looking at pen two of the calves in Round 2, there were three no-times and it took an 8.4 to get a check. That was a three-way tie for fifth and sixth money. The rodeo is now halfway through and it’s no surprise that Marty Yates, 28, has found his groove in the Thomas & Mack Arena. He got the win outright in Round 4, then split it in Round 5 with first-time qualifier Kincade Henry.
Yates and Henry each stopped the clock in 7.3 seconds to earn $25,882 apiece. Both men are good on four head with one no-time, so the rounds are very attractive propositions. Yates has been in this position before and, while he would like to be in the hunt for an average title, he is known for taking chances, throwing fast and winning rounds.
Henry, on the other hand, won the title at the 2022 College National Finals Rodeo for being consistent. In the Thomas & Mack, he placed second in the first round, then had a no-time in Round 3. Now the 20-year-old is getting his first go-round buckle. Henry squeaked into the 15th position over Cooper Martin and is now No. 5 in the world standings because of his $86,248 in Vegas earnings thus far.
Meanwhile, Yates is collecting his 16thgo-round buckle. Henry has dreamed of winning a round since he was 12 years old and watched Yates make that victory lap.
Yates rode Jaguar again and is planning to ride him the rest of the WNFR. Henry was on Dual’s Crescent Moon, a 16-year-old gelding he calls “Mario” that he bought just over a year ago. Mario also took him to the championship at the CNFR.
In July, Mario got hurt and Kincade struggled through the rest of the season. Dr. Marty Tanner and Dr. Cameron Stoudt got Mario healthy just in time for the NFR. Henry won money on him the first time he backed him into the corner in Las Vegas.
“I had a good start and the calf was off to the left,” Henry said of the run. “Whenever I threw, I wasn’t sure that it was going around the neck or not. It was almost a blind throw but I knew I needed to throw. It all worked out and I’m just glad Marty fumbled his tie or he’d be by himself.”
Average & World Standings After NFR Round 5
Caleb Smidt placed in the round for the fifth night in a row. He stopped the clock in 7.9 seconds to finish third in the round and has a commanding lead in the average at 38.2 seconds on five runs. Smidt is 4.9 seconds ahead of Haven Meged who has a total of 43.1 seconds on five.
Shad Mayfield has moved to 10th in the average after his first loop failed to connect in Round 5. He built his second one and stopped the clock in 18.3 seconds. Mayfield is second in the world standings with $236,359. Smidt now has $259,081, with $109,566 of that won inside the Thomas & Mack.