STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University saddle bronc rider Gus Gaillard saved the best for last in his first College National Finals Rodeo, earning an 81 in the championship finals of saddle bronc riding Saturday in Casper, Wyo.
Gaillard, leading three Tarleton rodeo athletes in the short go, finished sixth in the event. He earned his finals spot with a 78.5-second score on his opening ride and 74.5s in rounds two and three.
The sophomore agribusiness major from Morse, Texas, qualified for the CNFR as the 2023 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region reserve champion saddle bronc rider.
Team roper Wyatt Bray and barrel racer Jordan Driver also represented Tarleton in Casper.
Bray and partner Cutter Thomison from Western Texas College, regular-season regional event champs, missed their steer Saturday for no score. However, they posted a 6.2, 6.6 and 5.6 during the week, good enough for seventh in the average.
Driver, an integral part of the Southwest champion women’s team, finished ninth among barrel racers with a 14.34 run Saturday. Her best time in Casper came in the first round when she flashed a 14.25 in the cloverleaf. She followed that with a second-round 14.56 and a 14.37 to qualify for the finals.
She was the ’23 reserve champion in the regional all-around competition, as well as the regional title holder as a breakaway roper.