LAS VEGAS – Brothers Bill and Roy Duvall have seen many runs at the Thomas & Mack Center. What they’re seeing on television might be the best they’ve seen in decades.
Bill’s grandson, Riley, is having a heck of a time at this year’s National Finals Rodeo. On Sunday night, he stopped the clock in 3.9 seconds to share the Round 4 steer wrestling victory at the National Finals Rodeo. It was the second time in four nights that he’s earned at least a tie for a round win; he also split the first round.
“This is crazy,” said Riley, 29, of Checotah, Oklahoma, the Bulldogging Capital of the World. “I’ve won two rounds in three years before this, so it shows what happens when you have a good team behind you, horse-wise, friend-wise and family-wise.”
He’s the fifth member of his family to have played on ProRodeo’s biggest stage, following in the footsteps of his father, Sam; uncle, Spud; cousin, Tom; and great-uncle, Roy, a three-time world champion. In fact, Bill Duvall hazed for his brother during most of, if not all, Roy’s 24 qualifications.
“No, Roy and Bill said they wouldn’t leave their recliners,” Riley Duvall said with a laugh. “I do have a great support system. My wife is as supportive as she can be. She takes care of the kids all day. I know she’s behind me win or lose. That takes a lot of pressure off.
“My family has been out here. They know the pressure I’m under. They have different ways of helping me handle it. My family at home is pulling for me, then next week, a lot of them get to be out here, my cousin Tom, uncle Spud and my little cousins. I’m very excited, and I hope it carries over.”
He’s placed in three of four rounds and pocketed $74,444. He’s moved up 10 spots to third in the world standings with $141,165. He is just $13,000 behind the leader, Louisianan Jacob Talley.
He also has the help of his longtime friend and traveling partner, Shane Frey. They’ve been on the trail since 2012, so their relationship has some history to it.
“He’s never hazed for me out here,” Duvall said. “Things have never fallen right. I just rode different horses or had my dad haze. Shane deserved to be out here. He deserved a chance, and, man, it’s went good. He’s having fun. I can hear him screaming after I throw one.”
He has six more nights remaining in the ProRodeo season to continue to cash in. It’s Las Vegas, after all, so this is as good a place as any to hit the slot machine that is the NFR.