Justin Thigpen might be a little excited that he's daylighting the field after three rounds at the Lazy E Arena's Cinch Timed Event Championship, but he isn't letting on.
He won second in Rounds 1 and 2, and he won Round 3, taking home $7,000 so far.
"It's not surreal or nothing to me," Thigpen said. "I've dedicated my whole life to this. I just want to keep doing my job. Don't listen to the hype. It don't matter til the last one's tied so I just want to keep doing my job."
This is Thigpen's first Cinch Timed Event Championship, and the first time he's ever tripped steers in competition. He's been at the daunting event for two weeks now.
"I tripped better this round," Thigpen said. "I had a runner, so I knew I had to do my job a little better. I've been slacking. I'm riding a good horse, thank goodness. I'm just trying to keep the ball rolling...Heck, I'm too new at it to know a whole lot about it."
Thigpen's nearest competitor is Clayton Hass, last year's second-place cowboy. Hass, a three-time NFR steer wrestler, has 15 head down in 229.2 seconds.
"I'm staying focused and trying to just knock them down one event at a time," Hass said. "I've made some mistakes, but we're staying good and getting over them. I've got Zane Bruce heading and heeling for me. He's been good, and I've been with him for a long time."
The fourth round of the Cinch Timed Event Championship kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CST and can be streamed on RideTVGo with a subscription. The fifth and final round is Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m. TRJ
Average: 1. Justin Thigpen, 200.4 seconds; 2. Clayton Hass, 229.2; 3. Jordan Ketscher, 254.7; 4 Jess Tierney, 257.9; 5. K.C. Jones, 267.4; 6. Paul David Tierney, 270.9; 7. Marcus Theriot, 282.2; 8. Erich Rogers, 283.4.