Now that the countdown is on with only 10 days left until the 2020 Cinch Timed Event Championships at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Texas' Jace Melvin, 28, received the anticipated call the morning of Wednesday, March 4, to take the place of Cody Cabral because of a knee injury.
Melvin, the 2015 Resistol Rookie All-Around Champion knows that there's a lot of planning and coordination that comes with competing in the ironman event, as he's attended The Lazy E to help some of the cowboys in the past.
"I have a lot of stuff to line up in the next 10 days," said Melvin, who is currently seventh the PRCA steer wresting world standings."I’ve been there before to help some guys—taken bulldogging horses and hazed. This is something that I’ve wanted to do my whole life—since I was a little kid. I always thought that was one of the coolest events in the Western sports world. I was real excited and now have a lot of logistics to coordinate and hammer out the fine details of it."
Melvin, who competes in the Turquoise circuit in the steer wrestling and calf ropes and team ropes when entries allow, is prepared to do battle over the three days that hosts five rounds of five events—steer wrestling, calf roping, team roping (heading and heeling) and tripping.
"Steer wrestling is probably my best event. I’ve always roped calves and team roped all through junior high, high school, college and pro rodeoing even. I still rope calves and team rope at circuit rodeos. The tripping—about three years ago I started learning to trip and entered some pro rodeos and got some steers tied down, and then I kind of got away from it. I think I’m going to spend quite a bit of time this next week working on that."
The 2018 RAM Turquoise circuit All-Around and Steer Wrestling champion has a solid idea of which horses he will be riding in each event.
"I’m going to take my own steer wrestling horse and haze horse. I have my own calf horse that I’ll take up there and ride. I’ll probably end up heading on my haze horse and then I’ll borrow a heel horse from a guy in South Dakota, JD Williams. On a tripping horse, I have a friend—Ruben Gonzales—that’s either going to let me borrow one of his or help me find one. That’s who I’ll try to practice with this next week."
Though Melvin hasn't completely figured out who will be helping him this year, he's impressively prepared given the short notice.
"I’m excited for the test to do all of the events—the mental strength of it and the physical strength of it. I’m excited to see how my horsepower is and the competition. That’s probably what I’m most excited about is competing against all those guys and seeing where I stack up."