LAS VEGAS – Everybody knows it’s always beneficial to have good friends.
Bray Armes leaned on a couple Friday night during the second round of the National Finals Rodeo. Thankfully, his horse, Ote, and hazer, Sean Mulligan, came to the rescue and secured a second straight paycheck for the Ponder, Texas, steer wrestler.
“I missed the barrier a little bit and was fortunate enough to catch up quick,” said Armes, now competing at the NFR for the third straight year. “I know I can trust them. If something goes wrong, it’s probably my fault.”
Armes owns Ote, the palomino gelding that guided him to the NFR average title a season ago; Mulligan, a four-time NFR qualifier, rides Champaign, known as one of the best hazing horses in rodeo.
“Both Shawn and Champaign set it all up perfect every time,” Armes said. “I just have to take care of my part.”
Friday’s steers seemed to be rather tough. Only four cowboys posted runs faster than 4 seconds: round winners Kyle Irwin and Luke Branquinho in 3.6 and Nick Guy in 3.7 to join Armes, whose traveling partner, Casey Martin, finished in 4.4 seconds to place sixth.
“These steers were a little full tonight,” Armes said. “It will get better and be alright.”
Through two nights’ work, the Texan has earned a little more than $11,000 in Las Vegas. In his three years competing in the Nevada desert, he has pocketed nearly $200,000.
He’s in the right place to add to it.