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Gee saves best performance for last

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Mickey Gee of Dean leans against the trophy saddle that he was awarded after winning the title of World Champion Steer Wrestler in 1999. Gee competed in his third National Finals Rodeo Dec. 1-10.

By Matt Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

In 10 days of competition in the world’s biggest arena, Clay County Steer Wrestler Mickey Gee saved his best performance for last.

After struggling in the first few rounds, Gee, of Dean, finished the 2011 National Finals Rodeo Saturday night with a time of 3.6 seconds – tied for first place in the 10th go-round. Gee finished 12th overall.

With Saturday’s win, Gee finished the 2011 rodeo season ranked eighth in the world, with winnings of $96,747.32. Gee entered the NFR ranked 15th.

Gee took a no-time in the first round Dec. 1, but steadily improved each night. He earned his first prize money  – $2,884.62 – Dec. 6 with a sixth place finish in round six. Gee had a time of 4.10.

In round seven, Gee brought his steer down in 4.0 seconds for third place and $10,673.08. In round eight, he finished in a tie for second with another 4-flat for $12,403.85. Gee slipped to an eleventh place finish in round nine, before coming back in the 10th. In all, the cowboy brought home $41,971.17.

Luke Branquinho of Los Alamos, Calif., finishes the season ranked no. 1 in the world with $234,518.39 in winnings for the season. Branquinho won first place in the fifth and ninth go-rounds, and was among the top six steer wrestlers in all but the eight round. During the NFR, Branquinho won $86,778.87, as well as the average for an additional $46,000.

It was Gee’s third trip to the NFR after receiving his PRCA card in 1994. In 1999, Gee earned the title of World Champion Steer Wrestler after winning the NFR. He returned in 2003. See related story.

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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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