A world title is the highest honor that a competitor can secure at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. That means a rider finished the year with the most combined earnings from the regular season and National Finals.
But there’s another prestigious honor that is earned at the closing performance of the NFR — winning the average. That means a competitor finished the event with the best aggregate score or time after completing 10 rides.
One area cowboy who won the prestigious average title is team roping header Luke Brown of Stephenville. Partnering with heeler Kollin VonAhn, Brown clinched the honor after the duo finished the NFR with a 10-run time of 65.3 seconds.
Brown earned a $67,269 check for winning the average, which helped him finish second in the world title race with $224,986 in annual earnings. Aaron Tsinigine of Tuba City, Ariz., clinched the world title after finishing with $227,671.
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In team roping heeling, VonAhn, who is from Blanchard, Okla., won the NFR average buckle while partnering with Brown. VonAhn also won the heeling world title with $231,600. Weatherford’s Ryan Motes finished second with $226,540.
In bareback riding, Steven Peebles of Redmond, Ore., won the average after finishing with a 10-ride aggregate score of 832.5. Peebles also clinched his first world title after finishing the season with $314,139.
Steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge of Elko, Nev., won the average in his event after finishing with a 10-run time of 45.6 seconds. He also finished second in the world title race with $211,668. Hunter Cure of Holliday finished first with $241,514.
In saddle bronc riding, Boerne’s Jacobs Crawley won both the average and world title. He earned the average buckle with a 10-ride aggregate score of 810.5, and clinched the world title after finishing with $276,246.
Tie-down roper Caleb Smidt of Bellville also won both the average and world titles at the NFR. He secured the average title with an 80.7, and clinched the world title after finishing the year with $242,354. All-around champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur finished second with $228,054.
Barrel racer Callie DuPerier of Boerne won the average with a 10-run time of 140.41 seconds. She also won the world title with $303,846.
In bull riding, Cody Teel of Kountze won the average after making eight qualified rides and finishing with an aggregate score of 656.5. Teel finished second in the final standings with $185,730.
Sage Kimzey of Strong City, Okla., won the PRCA’s 2015 bull riding title after finishing with $327,177 — the highest annual earnings of all single-event champions.
Top NFR stock
Frontier Rodeo Co. had two broncs won the NFR Top Stock award. They were bareback bronc Full Baggage and saddle bronc Medicine Woman.
A bovine named Bruiser — owned by the D&H Cattle Co. — was the NFR’s top bull.
Frontier Rodeo also won the PRCA’s Stock Contractor of the Year Award. The firm is owned by Jerry Nelson of Winnie.