LAS VEGAS --- Clayton Savage, a Casper native now living in Cheyenne, not only got up and walked away from a wreck that could have killed him, but did it just after winning the seventh round at the $6 million Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Savage, 24, had been bucked off in the first five rounds before covering his bull for 75 points in the sixth round. That warm-up led to his 7th-round-winning 85-point ride aboard a bull named Early Bird. But as Savage tried to dismount after the eight-second ride, his left spur caught in the tail of his bull rope, and the bull fell on top of him, then drug him around the arena before bullfighters, including Dusty Tuckness of Meteetse, could free him.

“I just kept getting dragged around and stomped and stepped on,” said Savage, who emerged with just a couple of scrapes. “I have to thank those bullfighters. They’re the best in the world and we’re glad they’re here.”

Tuckness, 25, was named PRCA Bullfighter of the Year last week for the second straight season. He is a former all-Wyoming high school football player who attended Northwest College in Powell.

“I’ll need a new bull rope because mine’s busted, but I can afford one now,” said Savage, who earned $30,720 for the ride including day money. “I plan to just go about my business and not worry about using a new rope next time.”

Savage has no realistic chance at a world championship, but has covered two bulls and could advance in the aggregate standings on four bulls. His fellow Team Wyoming friend Tyler Willis of Wheatland is one of just three men to have covered four bulls thus far, and ranks second in the lucrative aggregate standings.

“We’re all trying hard, and going down that road we’re all good friends and even competed together in high school rodeo,” said Savage, the 2005 national high school champion bull rider, of the men sponsored by the Wyoming Office of Tourism.

The bull riders’ timed-event counterparts at the Wrangler NFR, Jason Miller of Lance Creek and Jhett Johnson of Casper, each have a great shot at world championships in steer wrestling and team roping, respectively.

Miller is in second place in the world standings, trailing the leader by just $31,000 with three rounds remaining, while Johnson and his partner, Turtle Powell of Texas, are just $2,320 behind the team roping leaders.

Competition continues here on Thursday, Dec. 8, with the eighth round kicking off at 6:45 p.m. (Pacific).

Source: PRCA Press Release


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