HEMPSTEAD, Texas – Matt Shiozawa is heading to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the eighth time in his career, but an injury over the weekend will sideline the Chubbock, Idaho, cowboy for Tuesday’s Eliminator at the Waller County Fair and Rodeo in Hempstead.
Shiozawa suffered an ankle injury on the final weekend of the 2015 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association regular season. Since his priority is to be ready for the NFR in December, he is unable to compete in Waller County.
The Eliminator is to feature eight of the top tie-down ropers in the game all competing in knockout rounds in Hempstead. All eight will compete in the opening round, with the bottom two times eliminated from the competition. Every subsequent round will feature the slowest single time eliminated.
Shiozawa’s replacement will be Cody Ohl, a seven-time world champion from Hico, Texas, who has 20 NFR qualifications under his belt. He will be joined by eight-time champ Fred Whitfield of Hockley, Texas.
They will be matched against six other cowboys that are heading to the 2015 NFR, including 2013 world champion Shane Hanchey of Sulphur, La.; Cory Solomon of Prairie View, Texas; Hunter Herrin of Apache, Okla.; Marty Yates of Stephenville, Texas; Caleb Smidt of Bellville, Texas; and defending champion Timber Moore of Aubrey, Texas.
The action begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Waller County Fairgrounds in Hempstead.