LAS VEGAS – Taos Muncy knows it takes consistency and tenacity to win a world championship.
The Corona, N.M., man owns two of them at just 27 years of age. On Thursday night, Muncy rode Korkow Rodeo’s Paint Chip for 80.5 points to finish in a tie for third place in the first round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
It was the best performance by any of the four contestants with New Mexico ties at this year’s NFR, and it paid Muncy more than $9,600. That helped him remain the No. 1 man in the bronc riding world standings.
That’s a considerable feat for the cowboy, who, in 2007, won both the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Associations, becoming just the third man in the sport’s history to accomplish the college and world titles in the same season.
He then added a second world championship in 2011. He added to his pedigree this year when he began “Riding for the Brand” Tate Branch Auto Group, which has dealerships in the southeastern New Mexico communities of Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs.
Muncy grew up near Corona in a rodeo family. His parents, Blaine and Johnnie Muncy, competed in the sport. His sister, Jordan Taton, won high school and college national championships.
The other Tate Branch cowboys, team roping heeler Jim Ross Cooper of Monument and tie-down roper Clint Cooper, who is originally from Lovington, failed to earn checks in the first go-round. All three return to competition during the second round Friday night.