Trey Benton III kicked off the 2018 Wrangler NFR the same way he did in 2017 – with a Round 1 win.
Benton rode Wayne Vold Rodeo’s VJV Whiskey Hand for 88.5 points and the win. And much like last season, Benton got to Las Vegas healthy and feeling good. He felt so confident, he told some media members two nights prior that he was ready to put on a show.
“Last year was the first time I felt comfortable here, and I had been here three times before that,” the 27-year-old Texan said. “Last year, I thought I could show my highest potential and now I’m ready to be better than I was last year.”
Last year, Benton won $211,737 at the Finals.
“I was more nervous last year because I had never seen a healthy year (at the Wrangler NFR),” he said. “This year is a relief. To start the NFR with a round win is pretty good.”
Benton knew little about the bull he drew.
“I didn’t know anything about him, but I’d heard he was good.”
Kicking off the Finals with a Round 1 victory is a big confidence booster, he said. He’s hoping it’s going to help propel him for the rest of the rodeo.
“I feel loose and comfortable, and I don’t see why I can’t do it nine more times,” he said.
Benton and the rest of the bull riders still have a ways to go to catch leader Sage Kimzey, who placed second in the round. Kimzey’s winnings, coupled with his $10,000 for qualifying for the Finals, pushed him over the $300,000 mark for 2018. The four-time defending world champion is up to $327,756 in earnings in 2018. ~ PRCA Media