- Neal Reid
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Dean Gorsuch and Ronnie Fields have enjoyed some great moments during the 2006 ProRodeo season, and all have come on the back of horse they call Zan.
This week, the big question will be which one, if either, will use Zan's help to ride into history with a world title at the conclusion of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Zan, the three-time and reigning AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year owned by Rodney and Jim Burks, helped Gorsuch (Gering, Neb.) turn his season around by winning the average title at RodeoHouston. Two months later, it was Fields' turn to shine on Zan when he claimed the steer wrestling title at the Pace Picante ProRodeo Chute-out in Tulsa, Okla.
Gorsuch brings a lead of nearly $22,000 into the Wrangler NFR and, historically, the No. 1-ranked steer wrestler doesn't retain his lead in Las Vegas only Luke Branquinho (2004), Mike Smith (1998) and Chad Bedell (1996) have won a gold buckle after entering the 10-day event in the top spot.
Third-ranked Fields (Oklahoma City, Okla.) is riding Zan for the third year in a row in the Thomas & Mack Center. He hopes to recapture the magic the two had in 2004 when Fields claimed the event's 10-head average title and won more than $73,000.
Shawn Greenfield (Lakeview, Ore.), the 2003 steer wrestling regular-season earnings leader, enters his fourth consecutive Wrangler NFR in second place, while a pair of world champions, Branquinho (Los Alamos, Calif.) and reigning title holder Lee Graves (Calgary, Alberta) are close behind and primed for another run.
2006 Wrangler National Finals Event Previews
2006 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo