Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves sure didn't want to be going for the go-rounds at this point in the week, but 26,230.77 world standings points each for a 4.30-second run in Round 8 will have to do for now.
"I'm talking about bad luck," Lovell, 33, of Madisonville, Texas, said. "With that [Round 4 crossfire] call and my illegal head catch, that takes away $30-some-thousand. That can take the breath out of you. It's hard. Like last night when I missed, I was in a speed jam trying to overcome stuff that we'd already done. Made good runs and just had bad luck."
Bad luck or not, Lovell and Eaves have won 72,615.39 each on the four steers they connected with, and they're third and sixth in the PRCA's world standings, but out of the average race at 14th.
They turned their luck around on a good steer in Round 8, and they knew going into the night they had a chance to change their stars.
"I thought he'd be good," Lovell said. "He's been the same every night. And the steers, some of them were coming left and giving it up. And he's not a strong steer, he's just sharp and stays sharp and leaves straight. With him doing that the first two times, he looked pretty patterned. So I thought it was a chance, some of those steers had been stepping left and he'd stay straight and stay in the middle of the arena and give us a lot of room to work."
"It was easy. I could kind of tell he took another swing, and I don't know why I did the same thing," added Eaves, of Lonedell, Missouri. "I didn't throw when I probably should have, but it was good."
Lovell got back on Bartender, his grade, roan gelding.
"That's the horse I've rode all year and last year. I rode Grit the night we got—the nights we had bad luck—so I figured I'd go back to Bartender," Lovell said.
Eaves started the week on Jake Smith's Ted but, after Round 1, he hopped on the 8-year-old mare he calls Jade, who he bought from Junior Nogueira.
Tired of reading the story? Listen to Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves on "The Score" HERE
In the average race, Luke Brown and Joseph Harrison got a leg to be 10.00 and dropped to fourth in the average with a time of 44.80 seconds on seven head. Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves are sixth in the average after placing sixth in Round 8 with an 8.9-second leg. Erich Rogers and Paden Bray remain first in the average with a time of 69.70 on eight head as the only team to have a time in every round.
If the rodeo ended tonight and average placings were calculated into the payout, Brown and Harrison would win the gold buckles. TRJ
Luke Brown and Joseph Harrison: 5.0 + 5 seconds
Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan: 4.1 + 5 + 10 seconds
Kolton Schmidt and Hunter Koch: 4.5 + 5 seconds
Erich Rogers and Paden Bray: 4.6 + 5 seconds
Chad Masters and Wesley Thorp: 5.0 + 5 seconds
Charly Crawford and Logan Medlin: 19.7 seconds
Levi Simpson and Shay Dixon Carroll: 4.7 seconds
Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins: 4.6 seconds
Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves: 3.9 + 5 seconds