Ty Blasingame, the 35-year-old Wyoming header with two Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications under his belt, popped off the tip of his right-hand ring finger in the third round of the third bracket at the 2020 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
"I had a great steer, the one they won the round on the night before," Blasingame, who was roping with Brandon Bates, said. "I hit the barrier and I roped him. But when I threw, I kind of almost dropped my rope or my slack, and I went to grab it and went to dally. I don't know if I double grabbed or what. But just BOOM. I've done it before when it pops off the end of my finger, but this steer was heavy. I've pulled them before with my fingers in it, but, man, I don't know. It popped so clean off. It looks like someone cut my glove with scissors. If you zoom in on the video you can kind of tell it happened, but nobody knew it on TV."
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Justin Sports Medicine doctors bandaged Blasingame's hand before sending him to San Antonio's Methodist Hospital, where doctors removed the uneven edges of the bone at the first knuckle and sewed up the skin over his remaining finger tip, Blasingame said.
[SHOP: Protect Your Hands]
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"They made it so it wasn't too tight, so it won't hurt if I bend or anything," Blasingame, who finished 12th in the PRCA world standings in 2019, said. "They said I oughta be able to bend it good when it heals up. I woke up this morning, feeling like it was a nightmare. I was pretty good last night, but when I woke up I still had blood on my hands and shirt."
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Blasingame was riding Blackie, the 21-year-old AQHA registered Skips Bar Bell, who he insists wasn't at fault for the accident.
"I know the deal. I know it can be way worse, but right now it's not good at all. And I made it back over there, and I can't rope."
Blasingame is currently 16th in the PRCA world standings with $7,086.94 won on the year, and he has $783,908 in career ProRodeo earnings.
Blasingame and Bates won $2,250 each for second place in the first round of their bracket—enough to qualify them back for the Semifinals. The hit is particularly hard on Blasingame, who in 2019 excelled in the tournament-style rodeos of Rodeo Houston and the Days of '47 Cowboy Games in Salt Lake City—banking $100,000 between the two events with Kyle Lockett.
[SHOP: Get Back to Roping]
"I was going to try to rope Tuesday night, but I don't think it's going to happen," Blasingame said Thursday morning. "I'm going to be back at Houston. I don't give a crap."
For what it's worth, though, Blasingame hasn't committed to officially doctor releasing the rest of San Antonio, Tucson and San Angelo just yet. As of Thursday afternoon, Feb. 13, Blasingame was weighing his options within the PRCA rules for replacements. (This article will be updated when The Team Roping Journal receives confirmation on Blasingame's status.)
Bracket 1: First round: 1. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, 5.2 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. (tie) Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch and Garett Chick/Walt Woodard, 5.5, $1,625 each; 4. Paul David Tierney/Cody Doescher, 5.8, $750. Second round: 1. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, 3.9 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Steven Duby/Jason Duby, 4.2, $2,000; 3. Brandon Webb/Kasper Roy, 4.6, $1,250; 4. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 4.9, $750. Third round: 1. Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, 3.7 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jake Long and Bubba Buckaloo/Cole Davison, 4.1, $1,625 each; 4. Paul David Tierney/Cody Doescher, 4.5, $750. Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, $5,000 each; 2. Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, $4,125; 3. Steven Duby/Justin Duby, $2,000; 4. Bubba Buckaloo/Cole Davison, $1,625.
Bracket 2: First round: 1. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes and Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 4.2 seconds, $2,250 each; 3. Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, 4.5, $1,250; 4. Quisto Lopez/B.J. Dugger, 5.2, $750. Second round: 1. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes and Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 3.9 seconds, $2,225 each; 3. Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, 4.2, $1,250; 4. Quisto Lopez/B.J. Dugger, 4.3, $750. Third round: 1. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 4.2 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Spencer Mitchell/Cesar de la Cruz, 6.5, $2,000; 3. Bradley Massey/Britt Bockius, 9.4, $1,250; 4. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 9.7, $750. Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, $4,500 each; 2. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, $3,000; 3. Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, $2,500; 4. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, $2,500.
Bracket 3: First round: 1. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 4.2 seconds, $2,500; 2. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 4.2, $2,000; 3. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 9.1, $1,250; no other qualified runs. Second round: 1. Dustin Bird/Levi Tyan, 3.5 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Dustin Egusquiza/ Travis Graves, 4.1, $2,000; 3. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 4.6, $1,250; 4. Jr. Dees/Lane Siggins, 6.7, $750. Third round: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 3.6 seconds, $2,500 each; 2., Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 4.0, $2,000; 3. Cyle Denison/Lane Mitchell, 4.2, $1,250; 4. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 8.5, $750. Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, $6,000 each; 2. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, $4,000; 3. Dustin Bird/Levi Tyan, $2,500; 4. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, $2,250. TRJ