Almost* Certain: JR Dees and Levi Lord NFR-Bound After Caldwell Win

It’s not guaranteed but, by Levi Lord’s calculations, winning the Caldwell Night Rodeo with JR Dees probably means they’ve punched their 2022 NFR team roping ticket.

Ty Stockton Photo

A Caldwell Night Rodeo championship win and $6,140 checks secured top 15 ropers Levi Lord and JR Dees in comfortable No. 6 and No. 7 spots in the PRCA world standings, respectively.

Their earnings from the rodeo—held Aug.16–20, 2022—give Dees $90,135.24 and Lord $89,852.95 in season earnings, which is more than likely enough to secure their spots at what will be their second NFR appearances.

“It’s an awesome position to be in, especially this time of year,” said Lord, 26, of Sturgis, South Dakota. “I guess, probably after Caldwell, we finally are to the point where I think we have enough money for sure to be in the NFR. So, it kind of takes a little bit of the pressure off.” 

At the rodeo in Caldwell, Idaho, Dees and Lord made a 5.7-second run to place 13th in the first round, followed by a 6.0-second run to place 13th in the second round. They won the final round with a 6.1-second run for $1,160 each and finished first in the average with a total time of 17.8 seconds on three for $4,980 each.

“First round, you know, at a three header, we just kinda want to get the steer down,” Lord said. “It’s nice to place, but if you don’t have a good steer, then you can just kind of catch him and stay in the average. He was a pretty good steer but ran a little bit more, and we just made an average run. We came back on our second steer and didn’t really like the steer. So then, at that point, we were just trying to make the short round.

“We knew that two good runs would make it,” Lord continued. “So, the exact same thing on the second one. We came back fifth callback. Then, in those short rounds, it seems like if you make a good run, you can win money. We didn’t expect to win it but made a decent run on a good steer. A couple of other teams had tough luck and I guess it was just kind of our day.”

Levi Lord Caldwell
Ty Stockton Photo

For the win, Lord rode Pauly, a 7-year-old gelding he bought from Paul Eaves after Lord’s first appearance at the NFR in 2020.

“We had a good finals and I had some money and needed another horse,” Lord said. “I had my eye on him and he has been a good horse for me. He’s a real good fit. I’ve had pretty good luck with him the last couple years. You know, I rode a different horse a lot this winter, but ever since we’ve been out to California and outside, I’ve rode Pauly on pretty much every steer.

On the head side, Dees was forced to change horses right before the short round after his good horse, Dillon, was injured. Instead, he rode Jaxson Tucker’s head horse, MC.

“He’s just a real easy horse,” said Dees, 24, of Aurora, South Dakota. 

To finish out the remaining six weeks in the ProRodeo regular season, Dees will rely on Murph, a 10-year-old gelding he purchased from Cody Snow and was trained by Ty Murphy.

“He’s a good horse, just a little green,” Dees said. “It hurts to not have my good horse at this point in the season, but I’m gonna ride Murph throughout the rest of the year. I’ve got some good buddies out here so, if I can get on a couple of their horses and some of these real, real big ones, I might do that.”

This week, Dees and Lord will compete at the Golden Spike Rodeo in Utah, followed by the Range Days Rodeo in South Dakota, where they will make their final efforts to qualify for the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo. Currently, they are ranked 10th in the circuit standings. Then, they’ll head to California’s Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo to keep hold of their top 15 positions.

LISTEN: JR Dees and Levi Lord Capture Caldwell Night Rodeo Win

Caldwell Night Rodeo Results: 

First round: 1. Tanner Tomlinson/Patrick Smith, 4.3 seconds, $3,320 each; 2. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 4.6, $2,887; 3. Manny Egusquiza Jr./Dalton Pearce, 4.8, $2,454; 4. (tie) Hagen Peterson/Dylin Ahlstrom and Kolton Schmidt/Cole Davison, 4.9, $1,804 each; 6. Nick Sartain/Austin Rogers, 5.0, $1,155; 7. Quinn Kesler/Caleb Hendrix, 5.1, $722; 8. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 5.2, $289. 

Second round: 1. (tie) Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne and Jack Graham/Jason Duby, 4.4 seconds, $3,103 each; 3. Rhett Anderson/Junior Zambrano, 4.5, $2,454; 4. (tie) Jake Orman/Brye Crites, Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich and Dalton Turner/Blaine Turner, 4.6, $1,588 each; 7. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 4.9, $722; 8. Chet Weitz/Jace Davis, 5.0, $289. 

Finals: 1. Jr. Dees/Levi Lord, 6.1 seconds, $1,160 each; 2. Cory Kidd V/Lane Mitchell, 6.2, $960; 3. Jeff Flenniken/Jake Minor, 6.5, $760; 4. Clayton Hansen/Chase Hansen, 7.9, $560; 5. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 8.3, $360; 6. Bryan Reay/Brent Falon, 8.9, $200. 

Average: 1. Jr. Dees/Levi Lord, 17.8 seconds on three head, $4,980 each; 2. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 18.1, $4,330; 3. Cory Kidd V/Lane Mitchell, 19.8, $3,681; 4. (tie) Clayton Hansen/Chase Hansen and Bryan Reay/Brent Falon, 22.0, $2,706 each; 6. Jeff Flenniken/Jake Minor, 22.1, $1,732; 7. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 22.3, $1,083; 8. Coy Rahlmann/Douglas Rich, 24.9, $433.

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