ProRodeo Sports News - Sept. 4, 2020

said Mason, who has finished in the top 30 in the standings three times. “I’m not worried about how many guys are at the same rodeos as I am. I’m just focused on doing my job.” Like Piva and Mason, bareback rider Chad Rutherford is eyeing his first NFR. He was 24th and 25th in the world standings in 2016 and 2017, respectively. He’s spent the last two years recovering from injuries from a wreck he had at the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo in June 2017. Rutherford suffered 13 fractures to his rib cage, a fractured collarbone and shoulder blade, and a collapsed lung. As a result of the Reno accident, he also dealt with nerve damage to his upper right torso that sidelined him for the majority of the 2018 and 2019 seasons. “At this point of the season there are a lot of mental challenges for me,” said Rutherford, who was 16th in the latest world standings. “I’ve never been this high in the standings this far into the season. I took the weekend (of Aug. 28-30) off just to recuperate mentally and physically. Then all of September I’m going to go everywhere I can and leave no stone unturned.” Steer wrestler Jesse Brown also is chasing his inaugural NFR qualification, but he’s trying to keep things in

“I’ve never been this high in the standings this far into the season. ... All of September I’m going to go everywhere I can and leave no stone unturned.” – CHAD RUTHERFORD

perspective. Brown finished a career-best 25th in 2019. “I don’t think things are any different right now because you’re just trying to win as much money at every rodeo you go to,” Brown said. “Maybe you’re entering a littler crazier than you normally would. It’s all a little harder this year (because of the COVID-19 pandemic) because there are like 100 guys bulldogging at every rodeo you go to. I know if I check off the NFR box, that would be huge for my career.” Fellow steer wrestler Clayton Hass, a three-time NFR qualifier, is trying to get back to the NFR for the first time since 2016. Since,

Joe Duty photo

After battling through a multitude of injuries since 2017, bareback rider Chad Rutherford is in the mix to qualify for his first bid to the NFR.

he’s finished 17th, 21st and 22nd, respectively, in the world standings. As of Sept. 1, Hass was 15th in the standings. “You have to draw the right ones, and when you have the chance to win, you have to take advantage of the opportunity and rodeo smart,” said Hass, who finished a career-best third in 2016. Veteran header Matt Sherwood, who is 15th in the world standings, has remained calm while pursuing his ninth NFR bid and sixth in a row. Sherwood is roping with Trey Yates, who is 16th in the standings. Yates made his NFR debut in 2018 and won the average, finishing third in the world standings. He was 22nd in the 2019 world standings. “Our approach is just taking it one steer at a time and try and make the best run we can on every steer,” Sherwood said. “There are still a lot of runs left and the rodeos are smaller, and they don’t pay quite as good, but every dollar is more important. We just have to make more quality runs.”

PRCA ProRodeo file photo Clayton Hass is a three-time qualifier for the NFR and is trying to earn his first trip back since 2016, when he placed a career-best third in the world standings.

ProRodeo Sports News 9/4/2020


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