Cannon explodes into position to win DNCFR crown

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Bareback rider Clint Cannon prides himself on a great attitude and a commitment to winning.

That’s why he was so flustered after his first-round ride on Friday night during the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo at Jim Norick Arena. A 75-point score just didn’t cut the mustard.

“I feel like I didn’t ride up to par last night,” said Cannon of Waller, Texas, a two-time qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

He was better than par Saturday afternoon during the third of five performances in the 25th anniversary of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association national circuit championship, matching moves with Kesler Championship Rodeo’s Alley Trail for 84 points. It gives Cannon the second-round lead heading into Saturday night’s performance, which will conclude the second round.

“I think the key to success is getting consistent, which is what it takes for me, but I need to stay in shape for me to be competitive for a longer period of time,” said Cannon, who finished seventh in the 2010 world standings. “It’s important for me to stay consistent and have a good attitude, to know I’m going to win.

“Last night, I came in with a new rigging. I was doubting myself, and it showed. Today I told myself I was going to win, and that showed.”

Leading the round is big, but the most important ingredient in winning the DNCFR title is to succeed and advance in the tournament-style format. The top eight times or scores in the two-round aggregate advance to Sunday’s performance, set to begin at 1 p.m. Semifinalists will compete in a clean-slate round, with the top four times or scores advancing to the finals.

“I get to compete in the Texas Circuit, which is tough, but it’s also a fun circuit,” said Cannon, who is No. 2 in the average race with 159 points, just a point behind leader Kelly Timberman of Mills, Wyo., the 2004 world champion. “We’ve got great rodeos, and at our circuit finals, we’ve got some of the best livestock. All the horses have been to the NFR.”

Other round leaders are steer wrestler Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 3.9 seconds; tie-down ropers Joseph Parsons, Marana, Ariz., and Jon Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 8.3 seconds; saddle bronc riders Heith DeMoss, Heflin, La., on Rafter G Rodeo’s Rawhide, Scott Miller, Hillsboro, Texas, on Korkow Rodeos’ Raylene, Sam Spreadborough, Snyder, Texas, on Andrews Rodeo’s Firelane, and Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., on Western Rodeos’ Hippy, 79 points; team ropers Casper May, Pryor Creek, Okla./Derrick Peterson, Stillwell, Kan., 4.8 seconds; barrel racer Nancy Hunter, Neola, Utah, 15.31 seconds; and Jacob Tyner, Sacramento, Calif., 81 points on MoBetta Rodeo’s Corky.


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