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Ty Breuer is becoming a veteran of pro rodeo's premier event.

Still, when the Mandan bareback star climbs aboard his first bucking bronco tonight at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas he knows there will be a little buzz.

"I'm confident in my game plan. You try to treat it like any other rodeo even though it's not," Breuer said. "There's always some extra adrenaline, but you just try to focus on one horse at a time."

The top 15 bareback riders will compete in the 10-day event, which runs through Dec. 15. The NFR is televised daily on CBS Sports Network beginning at 9 p.m.

Breuer, his wife Kelli and young daughter Kayd, arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

"I'm feeling good. I'm really happy to have my family here with me," Ty said. 

Breuer has put together another strong season. He's placed first eight times and totaled over $91,000 in winnings. It's the third year in a row he's qualified for the NFR and fourth overall.

"I think some of the daily routine stuff a guy goes through helps the more times you're here," he said. "You get a little more comfortable with the surroundings."

There's still nothing like a full house of nearly 20,000 rodeo fans whipped up into a lather at the Thomas & Mack Center.

"It's a different atmosphere, but it's cool," Breuer said. "A guy gets nervous, but I usually ride good when I'm nervous. You just have to focus on what you need to do."

Nightly go-around winners earn upwards of $26,000. Breuer cashed out with more than $56,000 at last year's NFR. He's setting even a higher bar this time.

"The goal's to win, to get that (golden) buckle," Breuer said. "There's no margin for error here."

The goal's the same for all 15 riders but their bond among each other is strong.

"You're going against the animal, not against your buddies," Breuer said. "We all have a lot of respect for each other, but we all want to win.

"My confidence is pretty high right now. I'm ready to get it rolling."

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Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or