2012 PRCA Team Roping Header Resistol Rookie of the Year Tyler Wade qualified for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2016. After finishing in the top 30 in the World standings in 2017, Wade will be roping with Colorado’s Trey Yates as they strive to make this year’s NFR. They're off to a good start–picking up $3,984 with the average win at Jackson, Mississippi's Dixie National Rodeo last weekend. Wade has $5,718 won already in 2018 to put him inside the top 50 in the world, and Yates has $11,008.69 won to put him 11th in the PRCA world standings.
KG: How did your partnership with Trey come about?
TW: I needed a run and I wanted to rope with someone that was all in and had a good horse. It’s tough for me because I’m married and kind of need to do my thing. It’s tough for me to rope with somebody in the same boat. I called Trey and asked him if he wanted to rope. He jackpots good. If you don’t make it to the NFR you can make a lot of money jackpotting. I knew he roped good at the jackpots and had a lot of good horses and wanted to work at it so he was my pick.
KG: Why are you entered at San Anotnio (Texas) with Rich Skelton?
TW: Rich and I had talked about it before I even had a partner because Rich’s partner wasn't qualified. Trey wanted to rope when he got in from his circuit but Rich and I were already roping at Houston (Texas) and I didn't want to leave him hanging and I wasn't 100-percent sure Trey was going to get into San Antonio at the time, so I just kind of arranged some stuff with Rich so that I would be able to get to go.
KG: Compared to last year how are the winter rodeos going for you?
TW: It’s better! I feel more confident and feel like I’m roping a lot better. I think every year I’ve gotten a lot better even if I haven't won much at times. We’ve done some good jackpotting. I have a little bit of money. Last year was just kind of hit and miss and I was swapping partners and changing some stuff. I wasn't really winning a whole lot. It’s been pretty good this year. I have a good partner and I feel like we’ve been roping pretty good.
KG: What is your goal for this season?
TW: Well, my wife (Jessi) and I are having a kid in July. Hopefully we make the NFR and pay for all these bills. If I don’t have the Finals made fast enough I’ll just stay home. But I feel like that’s everyone’s plan, is to get the finals made fast enough. I haven't done it, but that would be a good plan.
KG: What horses do you have on the road?
TW: I’m still taking my bay (Fonzie) and my paint (Bunny).
KG: What is a deciding factor on which horse you ride at different rodeos or ropings?
TW: Honestly, I’ve had good callbacks at jackpots and I’ll swap horses last minute. These two horses are older, and they're not exactly the same but I feel comfortable on either one of them almost anywhere. I would have to say if the barrier were to be extremely long, like at the BFI (Bob Feist Invitational), I would rather ride the bay because I think he’s really fast. My Paint isn't slow by any means, but my bay is just faster than anything I’ve ever been on. It just depends on which one I’m riding more. If the bay has a couple days off I’d rather ride the Paint. I’m pretty comfortable right now on either one of them. I’m just lucky to have two good ones. It’s pretty weird because the bay is better at the longer scores and the paint is better at the short scores but if the score is really, really short I like the bay better.
KG: Is there anything that you’ve been trying to focus on more with your roping?
TW: Yes, I think it’s better. After making the NFR, I’ve learned in the last couple years that a lot of it is mental, but the biggest deal is knowing what to do where, if that makes sense. For example, we were third high-call at the Wildfire this year and if we caught we were guaranteed money, and I just went and caught the steer to guarantee money and I think we still wound up winning third. It’s just knowing what to do where is a big deal. There’s different scenarios where you go fast and hope it works and then knowing when to just go catch. I feel like I’m doing a lot better job at that then I used to. Discipline and knowing what to do where are probably the hardest things to making the NFR and when you have to just go catch you do have to execute it. You don’t throw your whole rope and miss him, you catch that steer. That’s what I try to focus on. You can always feed off a catch even if you're too long but you cant feed off a miss.
KG: What keeps you motivated down the road?
TW: I’ve wanted to quit a thousands times, but my wife won’t let me. She has more faith in me than I have in myself. Our only financial income is her riding horses and my roping and she’s all about me roping even in times when I’m not. I think that’s pretty cool.