Edmonton's Marcos Gloria put down the highest bull riding score of the week to leap frog into Showdown Sunday.
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Gloria, who hails from Brazil, had a dazzling fourth-run ride of 90.50 aboard the formidable Whiskey Hand to easily win Friday. However, he was locked in a three-way tie with Americans Jess Lockwood and J.B. Mauney for fourth place in Pool B.
Each rider had two buck offs and $ 8,000 in earnings for the week, but Gloria earned the bye thanks to winning the most money in a single round on Friday.
Cody Nance of Springfield, Tenn., won the pool with $ 10,500 in earnings and was second Friday with a score of 87.00. Sage Kimzey was the only rider to post a score in each of the four runs to secure second in the pool with $ 10,000 and Brazilian Ramon De Lima was third with $ 9,500.
The top-four competitors punched their tickets directly to Showdown Sunday. The remaining riders will compete on Wild Card Saturday for a second chance to advance.
Canadian Zane Lambert was bucked off for the second straight day and will have to try to earn his way to the final on Saturday.
Ryder Wright wins 3rd straight run
American Ryder Wright won his third straight run to claim saddle broncs Pool B.
The Milford, Utah, native shot to the top on the strength of his second-run score of 92.00, third-run score of 90.00 and fourth-run score of 89.00, which were among the best of the week from both pools.
Ryder led the way into Showdown Sunday with a whopping $ 20,000 in earnings, followed by his older brother Rusty Wright in second with $ 12,500.
Rusty has put down four consistently strong rides (86.50, 84.50, 87.50, 85.50) to put himself in second place to clinch the bye.
Wade Sundell of Boxholm, Iowa, took third with $ 9,250 and Cort Scheer leaped into fourth with a fourth-run score of 88.50 on Friday to finish pool action with $ 9,000.
They'll come up against three-time champion Zeke Thurston. The 23-year-old Canadian finished Pool A in second place and hopes for a record fourth straight win at the Calgary Stampede on Sunday.