The Resistol Rookie Roundup, held April 29–30 at Fort Worth’s historic Cowtown Coliseum, was a first-of-its-kind event, offering limited entries only to first-year PRCA or WPRA cardholders. A single round of competition was held in each event with 15 rookies competing in a tournament-style format. The top eight rookies from Friday’s performance competed again with a clean slate on Saturday, after which the top four advanced to the finals.
Among those rookies were header Bodie Mattson, from Sturgis, South Dakota, and heeler Trae Smith, Georgetown, Idaho. With a time of 11.3 seconds in the long round, including a 5-second leg penalty, and a 6.0 in the progressive round, the Mattson-Smith team was called back to the championship round, where they roped their steer in 5.6 seconds, earning them the first-ever championship title and $2,500 per man.
“Our goal was just to get through the first round,” said Mattson, 20. “We got through and we knew we still had as good a chance as anybody. We were one of the first teams out on Saturday, which wasn’t really where we wanted to be, but we just went and made a good run. We had a pretty good feeling that we’d make it back and ended up winning the round.”
Mattson and Smith had roped together previously at college rodeos that followed the same style of format, but that wasn’t their only advantage.
“We got to go last in the final round, and it was a huge, huge advantage and had a good steer and it just happened to work out,” Mattson said.
For the inaugural Resistol Rookie event, Mattson rode Let R Buck Pendleton—or, as he calls him, Pendleton—a 10-year-old sorrel gelding that he and his dad, Jay Mattson, raised and trained together. Mattson, who grew up heeling and transitioned to heading when he went to school, credits all his success to the horse: “He’s as good as they come.”
Mattson’s Fort Worth earnings propelled him to No. 3 in the Resistol Rookie Team Roping Header Standings with $5,106.15 in earnings.
“I would say Resistol Rookie Header of the Year was my goal, but when I heard about this, it was something I wanted to win, just to help me boost to the end goal,” Mattson said. “It’s one of the first big events I’ve won. There are not many people that can say they won the first-ever.”
On the heel side, Smith, 21, relied on his No. 1 mount, Me And Acres—Chip, as he calls him—an 8-year-old sorrel gelding.
“I bought him two years ago, actually, as my calf horse. I’ve only been heeling on him for about a year. I sold my good horse and needed one to start going to the circuit rodeos at home. I was on my permit, and I just threw him to the wolves. He’s come a long way and I’m so confident on him.”
Smith’s Fort Worth earnings brought him to No. 4 in the Resistol Rookie Team Roping Heeler Standings with $8,637.06 in earnings.
“One of my goals in buying my permit this year was to go for Rookie,” Smith said.
Mattson and Smith will compete together again at the College National Finals in June, but don’t share plans to ProRodeo together. Their entry into the pro ranks, however, has made an impression each of them.
“Ask questions,” Smith offered. “Don’t be afraid to go up to anybody and ask about anything. I’ve gone up to lots of people and asked them what they thought—maybe something with my horses, or something that I’m doing that needs to be fixed, or it needs to be done better. I think a lot of people kind of get scared of, ‘Well, they don’t want to talk to me, or they don’t have time to talk to me.’ I think there’s a lot of guys out there that are very willing and very personable and want to help you and want to see you succeed.”
“Make a good plan for yourself and know where you want to go and what your goals are,” Mattson added. “And don’t forget to enjoy the moments like this, where you get some success.”
1. Logan Currie and Clay Green, 6.2 seconds, $1,329 each
2. Jason Burson and Garrett Smith, 6.8 seconds, $1,156
3. Peter Bennett and Brandt Ross, 8.6 seconds, $982
4/5. Wyatt Lacey and Junior Zambrano, 11.3 seconds, $722 each
4/5. Kreece Thompson and Zack Woods, 11.3 seconds, $722 each
6. Trevor Hale and Levi Walter, 11.5 seconds, $462
7. Bodie Mattson and Trae Smith, 11.6 seconds, $289
8. Tyler Hobert and Kolton Good, 11.7 seconds, $116
1. Bodie Mattson and Trae Smith, 5.5 seconds, $2,500
2. Wyatt Lacey and Junior Zambrano, 5.6 seconds, $1,500
3. Logan Currie and Clay Green, 5.7 seconds, $1,000
4. Jason Burson and Garrett Smith, 9.6 seconds, $500
In addition to competing for $100,000, each of the contestants will also receive a gift bag of items from The Cowboy Channel that can be used to help them get down the road during their rookie year.
The Resistol Rookie of the Year Award is one of the top awards that can be earned by first-year PRCA and WPRA members. Money won during the Cowboy Channel Rookie Roundup presented by Resistol will count towards the Resistol Rookie Standings but will not be credited towards PRCA | RAM World Standings for NFR qualification.