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Cheney’s Gray knocked out of National Finals Rodeo

Bareback rider suffers lacerated liver

LAS VEGAS – Cheney’s Ryan Gray, who came into the National Finals Rodeo as the top-ranked bareback rider, was knocked out of the competition when he was bucked off and stepped on by Golden Dream, suffering a lacerated liver during the second round on Friday night.

Gray was taken from the Thomas & Mack Center arena to University Medical Center, where he was admitted for observation.

Also Friday, Trevor Brazile won his record eighth all-around gold buckle, breaking a tie for the mark with Ty Murray.

Brazile, the Decatur, Texas, cowboy who has 12 world titles – in steer roping, team roping, tie-down roping and all-around – overall, finished second in team roping and sixth in tie-down roping Friday night to wrap up the all-around title earlier than he ever has. With season earnings of $323,526, he has a $186,065 lead over second-place Curtis Cassidy of Donalda, Alberta.

“It’s pretty amazing (to clinch in the second round),” Brazile said. “They told me I had a chance to clinch tonight, but Ryan (Jarrett in tie-down roping) had made a good run right in front of me. I was out back getting my horse situated, and I heard everybody talking about it and I thought, ’No way.’

“It makes me feel great. Awkward, but great, I’ve been chasing the greatest cowboys that have ever lived. That’s what my career has been about. It’s awesome to know that I’ve met that milestone, not only for me but for pro rodeo.”

Brazile, who missed 40 days of competition this year because of a partially torn tendon in his right elbow, officially clinched the all-around crown when fellow tie-down roper and brother-in-law Clif Cooper, also from Decatur, missed his calf with his first loop. Cooper was the final competitor in tie-down roping.

“I’ve got one title down and a couple to go,” Brazile said. “I’ve got a tie-down roping championship to win, and with the team roping, you never know. Patrick (Smith) and I were the high-money winners here two years ago, but we were the low money guys last year. We’re off to a good start.”

In tie-down roping, Colbert’s Tyson Durfey finished out of the money for the second night in a row. He remains in ninth place in the world standings.