Former Resistol Rookie of the Year Header and All-Around Cowboy Nelson Wyatt has started out the new season in the top 10 of the PRCA World Standings, sitting in the number-eight spot with $20,307.74 won. Wyatt is roping with Trace Porter as they set their sights to hopefully make it to the bright lights of Las Vegas come December.
Kaitlin Gustave: What are you looking forward to most this year?
Nelson Wyatt: When I started the year I was pretty excited about getting into the winter rodeos: San Antone (Texas) and Houston (Texas). Last year I didn’t rodeo in the winter so this was the first time that I got to go to Fort Worth (Texas), Odessa (Texas) or Denver. It was pretty exciting because that’s kind of what I grew up doing--little arenas and going fast. It was fun to get to go to those this winter.
KG: Is there anything you’ve been working on at home to prepare for this season?
NW: I’ve been working on trying to go a little bit faster. I got a new horse in January so I’ve been trying to get with him. I stay at Trace’s (Porter) a bunch, and we practice a bunch together. We really have been trying to work on our run and get a run that we can make every time.
KG: What horses do you have on the road?
NW: I’m going to ride my sorrel that I rode last year, Nemo. I ride him a bunch. The new horse I got, Coon Dog, I rode him almost everywhere this winter. He’s good for going fast. I’ve got a grey horse that I’ve had for about five or six years. He was my second string last year and he’ll kind of be my third string this year.
KG: Are you going to enter the tie-down at all this year?
NW: I hadn’t. I entered a couple of circuit rodeos this winter, but I haven’t been getting to practice. I’m mostly focusing on heading and hustling, trying to make the Finals. I’m sure I’ll enter some this year but I haven’t been this winter.
KG: Is there anything you learned from being on the road last year that has prepared you better for this year?
NW: I learned last year that you have to take every steer you run, every steer means something–just try to win something on every steer. Sometimes I get up on trying to win first where you really need to just win what the steer will let you. Be the fastest you can but you need to win as much as you can.
KG: You’re currently sitting in the top 10 in the heading world standings. How would you say you’re year is starting out compared to last year?
NW: I think this time last year I had about $500 won up until March. I just circuit rodeoed, and we didn’t have a great winter until we won a round at Angelo, and we did good at San Antone so it had kind of been a slow winter until up until San Antone. I was thankful to do good there and get some money won before the summer. I think last year, whenever we left for Reno (Nev.) we had $12,000 won and had counted up to a lot more rodeos at this point. It’s a little exciting to go into the summer with more won.
KG: What are your goals for this year?
NW: To make the Finals would be the ultimate goal. Even if I didn’t make the Finals I’m still learning a lot. Keep learning and try not to make the same mistakes over and over–complete the course. Obviously, I would love to be in Las Vegas in December.
KG: You won both the Heading and all-around rookie titles last year. Is there any advice you can give to this year’s rookies?
NW: Just stay hooked and believe in yourself. Last year was a lot of roller coasters for me and Trace when we left. Trace wasn’t a rookie but it was the first time that he went and rodeoed in the summer. You just have to be confident. Confidence is one thing that I learned that you have to have. Whatever comes at you, you have to be confident, trust yourself, and trust that what you do works.