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Casper’s Savage Wins at Wrangler NFR

Bull Riding - David Greedy/Getty Images
Bull Riding – David Greedy/Getty Images

Casper, Wyoming bull rider Clayton Savage rode his bull for eight seconds with perfect timing at the 53rdWrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas last night. Because he was one of only two men to make the whistle, he split a whopping $60,000 with South Dakota’s Ardie Maier. Only $18,257 of the windfall officially counts toward the championship standings, however.

Savage’s 78.5-point ride on Rafter H Rodeo Livestock’s bull El Capitan was his second qualified ride of the week at rodeo’s Super Bowl. He was ranked 13th heading into the event, and with the win tonight moved into 11th place. While he remains nearly $100,000 behind leader Cody Teel, a lot can happen throughout the remaining six rounds.

Savage was injured during the third round of competition, but toughed it out for the win last night.

“Winning cures everything,” said Savage. “I do hurt pretty good, but going to that ceremony to pick up that trophy buckle is going to cure about all of it.”

This is Savage’s third Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification, and while he hasn’t won a world title yet, he has placed in many rounds, including winning the 7th round during the 2011 WNFR.

“I praise God; he got me here all year long and it was my night tonight,” said Savage. “I’m thankful and blessed beyond belief. When you’re staying on bulls here at the NFR, it doesn’t matter if you’re 100 or 30 points, you feel like you’re on top of the world.”

The fifth performance of the rodeo starts on Monday night, Dec. 10 at 6:45 p.m.

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