Teel Hangs on in Race for World Title

LAS VEGAS – Cody Teel has such a major limp that he doesn’t even call it a limp anymore.

“It’s more like a waddle now,” said the bruised bull rider from Kountze, Texas.

Whatever it is, it’s not keeping him from staying on the the roughest bulls for 8 seconds. Teel won the eighth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) on Thursday, collecting $18,630 for the second straight night while putting himself in a good spot to claim his second straight world championship.

Only three riders out of 15 made it to the whistle on a rough pen of bulls, with Teel’s 78.5-point effort on JK Rodeo’s Pale Face enough to get the job done.

“Coming into tonight, I never thought a 78 would get the win. A lot of guys had bad breaks and tough luck with the draw,” said Teel, who nearly had that same tough luck. “He was yanking on me pretty good. I was fortunate to make it to the whistle.”

Teel has made $67,308 in the NFR, pushing him to second in the world standings with $160,371 in season earnings. J.W. Harris remains in first with $197,390 and is tied for second in the NFR average, but Teel is first in the average and is the only rider with six scoring rides. And he’s got the momentum with two rounds left.

“That definitely helps. Out here, having momentum is a big advantage. Toward the end, the pressure really mounts,” said Teel, who admits the world title has crept into his thoughts. “You put it deep in the back of your mind and focus on the one thing you can control – staying on the bull.”

Contestants in the bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and bull riding along with the Women’s Professional Rodeo Associations sanctioned barrel race are all competing for a total purse of $6.25 million at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. On Thursday night, 17,694 enthusiastic rodeo fans poured into the Thomas and Mack Center anxious to watch rodeo’s Super Bowl.

Friday’s rodeo will be the ninth of 10 rounds of competition and begins at 6:45p.m. PT. 


Susan Kanode (817) 307-6336