SHERIDAN — Three local athletes found the spotlight in the arena at the 2016 National Finals Rodeo and Jr. National Finals Rodeo Run from Dec. 1-10 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sheridan College cowboy
Zeke Thurston, a 22-year-old saddle bronc rider and a product of the Sheridan College rodeo team sits third in the PRCA 2016 World Standings with $184,853.30 won over the course of seven nights. Thurston is competing for his second year at the NFR and showed more confidence and poise in his rides this year.
“It’s been a really good week actually,” Thurston said. “This year I feel like I’m a little more mature as far as competing and as far as my bronc riding’s coming. The nerves aren’t near as bad as they were last year.”
Thurston’s best ride this week took place on Black Hills on Tuesday. He scored an 88.50 for first place and winnings totaling $26,230.77.
“That’s a really good little horse, a Bar C5. I’ve been on her a couple of times. She treated me good the first two times and the other night she was really good,” Thurston said.
Riding her a few times before proved beneficial for Tuesday’s ride.
“I kind of knew her, knew what she was going to do and she just came out of there and really bucked and was honest and I was lucky to make a good ride.”
Thurston drew Trophy Wife for his Friday night bout, and the young athlete stands ready to ride.
“I’m looking forward to all of it,” Thurston said. “I’m having a really good time and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store.”
Cahoy and Frost
Kylee Cahoy has stayed busy in Las Vegas since Dec. 1, cheering on fiancé bull rider Joe Frost for his third year competing at the NFR. Thursday night proved the busiest for the Sheridan native, as her 17-year-old little sister Shyanna made her debut at the JrNFR in barrel racing.
Frost found both highs and lows this week in his third NFR experience, reaching the 8-second mark on 50 percent of the bulls in the eight nights of rides. After his eighth night in the Thomas and Mack Center, Frost holds the fourth place spot in the world standings with $174,301.93 total earnings for the week. With two nights to go, frost is working toward his goal of earning the title of world champ.
“His goal at the beginning of the year last year was to be the world champion and ever since the first of October he’s been training for these 10 days,” Kylee Cahoy said.
Frost’s best ride took place on Cowbanger on Dec. 2 for an 87-point total, a tie for second place and earnings totaling $18,192.31. His Dec. 4 ride on Broken Arrow earned him $20,730.77 and a score of 85.50.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Cahoy said, “especially when he’s winning with 85 and a half points and winning second, that’s really exciting.”
Months of practice for 10 consecutive nights of rides built nerves in Cahoy as she prepared to watch her fiancé fly.
“It’s really exciting for me because I’ve seen behind the scenes and how hard he works and the passion that he has for it,” Cahoy said.
“I don’t get nervous when he goes because I think he’s going to get hurt, I get nervous because I want him to do good.”
While Frost failed to make it to 8 seconds on Cowahbunga Thursday night, Shyanna Cahoy rode her way to a sixth-place finish for her first night at the JrNFR with a time of 14.022. She looks to remain in the top 10 in Friday’s runs to advance to Sunday finals.
Stay connected with the final two days of NFR results at prorodeo.com under Weather Guard PRCA 2016 World Standings and Wrangler NFR Round Results. Find JrNFR Barrel Racing results on Facebook at KK Run for Vegas/jrnfr Barrel Racing.