LAS VEGAS – Ultimately, Tyson Durfey’s goal at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is to finish the season No. 1 in the world standings, earning the coveted Montana Silversmiths gold buckle awarded to the year’s world champion.
Durfey, 28, of Colbert, Wash, knows it takes money – the world standings equate to the money list, so dollars are championship points in the world of rodeo. The Missouri-born tie-down roper is well on his way, placing in the first two go-rounds and pocketing $17,885 in just two days.
On Friday night, Durfey roped and tied his calf in 7.6 seconds to finish second in Round 2 of ProRodeo’s championship event. Only two other cowboys – five-time world champion Cody Ohl and Matt Shiozawa, a five-time NFR qualifier – have earned money in the first two nights in the 10-round slugfest for their share of the $6 million purse.
Riding the great horse T.C., owned by friend Frederico Werneck, Durfey is making a solid statement in this year’s finale. To compare, he finished last year’s NFR with just $25,844 in a frustrating two weeks in Las Vegas. He’s hoping the tide continues to turn in his direction.
This marks the fifth straight year Durfey has earned a trip to play on the biggest stage in ProRodeo. That’s significant, because it’s proof he is one of the elite tie-down ropers in the game. Of course, his three Canadian Professional Rodeo Association championships point to that, too – Durfey won his titles north of the border in 2006, 2008 and 2011.