Dex Maddock, 30, has a brand new, shiny Ariat WSTR Finale buckle—proof of his $114,000 windfall for winning the 2019 Yeti #13.5 in Las Vegas in December—but he’s not wearing it.
“I’m just going to leave the new one in the case and put it on the shelf,” said the 6.5 header.
Maddock, a rope horse trainer in Filer, Idaho, certainly regards that recent win as lifechanging, but he doesn’t have any plans to swap out his 2018 Jordan Valley Big Loop buckle any time soon.
“It took me three years to do it,” Maddock offered. “I’ve been going to that rodeo since I was a little kid. I always told myself that was one of my big goals—to win the Big Loop Muley Roping. It’s a slick-horn muley team roping, and they don’t have them at your just everyday rodeo. You kind of have to know somebody to get into it and they only take a certain amount of teams.”
In addition to the challenge of getting to just compete at Big Loop, the rodeo is also a prestigious cowboy event, which partners well with Maddock’s more ranchy tendencies.
“Team roping, I live and breathe it and it’s what I love to do and it’s why that part of the buckle was so important to me. But I also love the cowboy lifestyle and what it symbolizes and it’s just a pretty prestigious thing in our part of the country.”
And rightly so. According to Maddock, those Great Basin buckaroos don’t mess around.
“We had a pretty good muley,” he said of his run with partner Dusty Easterday. “They’re huge—probably 700, 800 pounds and they’re dead fresh. Ours didn’t run real hard and I scored good, but it kind of switched hard and [Dusty] he reached out a mile to catch it. He pulled off one heck of a heel shot.”
Coincidentally, when it comes to his Finale partner, Rob Webb—a 7 heeler from Gooding, Idaho—$228,000 wasn’t all they shared. Turns out, Webb was also sporting his own Big Loop buckle at the Finale, which he won in 2016.
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