Bull rider Bobby Welsh of Gillette, Wyo., is the only defending RodeoHouston champion who has a secured shot at repeating.
He’s one of three 2011 winners still in the mix. Steer wrestler Stockton Graves of Newkirk, Okla., and saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer of Elsmere, Neb., will battle for the remaining two finale spots in their respective events during tonight’s Wild Card Round. Those are pretty slim odds.
But I like their chances. Of course, to still be in the mix with just two performances remaining in the Super Series is big. There are five other defending champions who didn’t make it this far: team ropers Tommy Edens and Cody Doescher, tie-down roper Shane Hanchey, bareback rider Clint Cannon and barrel racer Jody Sheffield.
Of all the 2011 champs, only Scheer, Edens and Doescher missed the NFR. Edens finished 58th in the heading world standings, while Doescher was 40th among heelers. Scheer, who didn’t compete past last June, finished 25th.
They’re all worthy champions, but so are the winners who will be crowned this weekend.