When all was said and done, Preston Williams stood head and shoulders above the nearly 200 cowboys and cowgirls on hand for the 30th Indian National Finals Rodeo in San Carlos, Arizona.
Williams won the all-around-cowboy title after surviving a rope-off with Montana’s Dustin Bird to determine the tie-down-roping championship. The two cowboys finished with identical 40.5-second average times after four rounds of competition. Williams won a coin-toss, elected to go first and finished off his run in a slick 9.5 seconds to take the championship and secure the all-around title. Williams has won two INFR all-around crowns and three tie-down championships.
Not to be outdone, 13-year-old Kassidy Dennison claimed the all-around-cowgirl title by placing in both barrel racing and breakaway roping.
Nelson Tsosie ran away with the bareback-riding championship, scoring 307 points on his four rides. John Salois finished 11 points behind in second place.
Jarrett Monroe scored an even bigger margin of victory in saddle-bronc riding, topping Tom Bingham by 13 points for the world championship.
Greg Louis score 240 points on three rides to claim the bull-riding championship. Trevor Jacobs was the only other bull rider to make three qualified rides.
Clint Bruisedhead won his second consecutive steer-wrestling championship with a four-round total of 22.9 seconds. Hugh Houle finished less than a second behind the champion.
Nate Blackrock and James Begay Jr. roped four steers in 28.3 seconds to take the team-roping crown. All-around champ Preston Williams and partner Tad Williams Jr. finished second.
Terry Jo Charley won the breakaway-roping championship with an average time of 14.3 seconds on four runs. Henny Bruisedhead finished three seconds back.
Yvette Vega claimed the barrel-racing title with a four-run time of 71.72 seconds. DeeAnn St. Andrew took second place.