Judging the judges

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Overall the judges at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo did an outstanding job.

But …

They failed in the sixth round of the championship, if not more. And that failure almost became a factor in deciding the 2010 world champions.

The evening started with Wes Stevenson’s 88.5-point ride on Classic Pro Rodeo’s Wise Guy. That was way to many points for the ride. Yes, Stevenson did his part, and he should be marked very high. But Wise Guy failed to meet the criteria needed for such a high score.

It was electric, and the crowd got into it. But it wasn’t worth 88.5 points.

The second happened in saddle bronc riding, when Cody Wright was given a questionable reride. Then on his second ride of the night, Wright was marked 88.5 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Sand Man. But Sand Man didn’t do what was needed to be scored his half of 88.5 points. The go-round win of $17,512 should’ve gone to Wade Sundell, who rode Burch Rodeo’s Holy Hoppin Hell for 86 points.

The point differencial in that round alone would’ve given the average championship to Sundell instead of Wright, who would’ve still won the world championship based on the final go-round. But there’s plenty of room for argument, and the ProRodeo officials who over-marked Cody Wright and Wes Stevenson are the reasons why.

Officials have a basic criteria for judging each event. Sometimes they need to go back to their basics in making the calls.


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