LAS VEGAS – Mason Clements can’t stop marveling about his first experience at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
He shouldn’t. This is the grandest event in the sport, a 10-round affair that features only the very best in the game from the 2017 season. He’s one of the 120 contestants competing this week at the Thomas & Mack Center in front of more than 17,000 a night.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s done pretty well. He’s placed three times and earned just shy of $57,000. He has moved up six spots to ninth in the world standings with $143,005.
“Holy cow,” he said. “I’ve never done that in seven days.”
It’s been pretty remarkable for the Utah cowboy, who was born in Las Vegas. He added to his total Wednesday night with an 83.5-point ride on Calgary Stampede’s Shadow Warrior. That was good enough to finish in a three-way tie for fourth place, worth $7,333.
“It’s a good night’s work,” he said. “I knew that was a good stud of Calgary’s and that everyone liked him. I was just happy to draw a Calgary horse and have something that fits my style. I’m super pleased with what I had done.”
He’s been taking it all in. This marked the third time in seven nights that he earned an NFR paycheck. He finished in a tie for third place on opening night, then won the fifth go-round. He has plenty of reasons to enjoy every moment.
“I’m having a great time in Vegas,” Clements said. “I’m having more fun than I thought I was going to have. I’m going to enjoy ever night and everything Vegas has to offer.
“I get to hang out with my family. My dad’s here, and I get to hang out with him every night. Normally he has to go back to work but it is cool that I get to hang out with my old man and family and see them after the rodeo. I don’t get to do that at every rodeo, so this is awesome.”