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Stroh bucked off, average title in doubt

By The Press Staff

LAS VEGAS -- Dickinson saddle bronc rider Shaun Stroh got bucked off Gross Beetle Friday night at the National Finals Rodeo and may have missed his opportunity to win the aggregate title.

Cody DeMoss, who was right behind Stroh in the average chase, scored an 84 on Let 'er Rip to take fourth in the ninth round won by South Dakotan J.J. Elshere, who had an 86 on Griz.

Elshere increased his season earnings to $153,068 and closed in on leader Jesse Kruse, who was also bucked off, but still leads the world standings with $169,308.

Elshere is fourth and Kruse is fifth in the average, meaning tonight's final round will determine the world champion.

In the average battle, DeMoss and Stroh each entered the night 8-for-8. Stroh has $111,185 in earnings this year. He's

In the bull riding, Cody Hancock of Taylor, Ariz., had a winning 89.5-point ride on Balistic, then was taken to the hospital after sustaining a concussion.

Bobby Welsh, fifth with an 83 on Crazy Train, has covered a rodeo-high five bulls and leads the aggregate race with 398.5 points. Corey Navarre was $70,265 behind Harris with one round left.

J.W. Harris wrapped up his second straight world bull riding title despite failing to earn any money during the first nine rounds.

Harris, from May, Texas, equaled a feat accomplished last by bull rider Bill Nelson, who won the 1971 title without earning any money in the finals -- then held in Oklahoma City.

Harris broke his right (riding) hand in the second round, and hasn't completed a qualified ride. Freckles Brown (1962) is the only bull rider to win a world championship without completing a ride at the NFR. After missing four rounds, Harris was bucked off Hawaiian Ivory in the ninth round.

Bobby Mote continued his run at the world title in the bareback riding, winning the round with an 86.5 on Coconut Roll and increasing his average lead. He is about $16,400 behind leader Clint Cannon heading into today's final round.

Casey McMillen won the steer wrestling with a time of 3.3 seconds while Luke Branquinho was second with a 3.5, increasing his average lead and putting him just $820 world standings behind leader Lee Graves heading into the final day.

Chad Masters and Jade Corkill took the team roping with a 3.3.

Justin Maas and Clint Robinson shared the win in the tie-down roping with runs of 7.3 seconds. Robinson is $20,000 behind leader Justin Maass.

Cassie Moseley won the barrel racing with a time of 13.74 seconds.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.