Joe Mattern and Lucas Falconer backed into the WCRA Days of '47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo boxes as the first team out during the first performance of the semi-final rounds and stopped the clock in 5.44 seconds to put pressure on the next seven teams.
Mattern and Falconer won the round to advance them to Saturday, July 24’s Gold Medal Round, winning $1,600 per man for their efforts, with Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira placing second with a 5.45-second run,
“There were a lot of good teams in our set,” Mattern said. “Driggers told me what I needed to see, and he helped me out a lot there. You definitely have to go in there and give it your all.”
Mattern and Falconer were the sole team to advance to the Gold Medal Round since Driggers and Nogueira were seeded to the final round for being the No.1 team in the WCRA leaderboard, but they weren’t cutting anyone any slack in the semi-final round.
“They were wanting that first place check tonight,” Mattern said. “That’s what they do for a living, and I guarantee they aren’t showing and remorse when it comes to that.”
Mattern reached at the steer and secured a legal half-head catch, which made for the steer to lose his back end in the beginning of the handle.
“I don’t think that that steer has ever had it around a half head,” Mattern said. “He didn’t know how to take it. When you throw that much rope you really don’t have time to think about it, so whenever I reached, I was making sure I got it on the saddle horn, saw him go down and I reined my horse back to give it back to him so he could get back on his feet. It cost me a second or half a second to get the rope tight, but we were just fortunate that he got up as fast as he did.”
That didn’t bother Falconer any, who flew into Salt Lake City and jumped on Corey Hendrick’s 12-year-old heel horse Opie.
“He stayed up and let me get to the front and reach out at him and get him,” Falconer said. “He is really forgiving and lets you do whatever you need to do. It feels like he’s always right there when he needs to be.”
Mattern, who is typically a heeler in his own right, headed on a 13-year-old gelding named Pistol, which he purchased in 2020.
“This horse had never gone to any rodeos,” Mattern said. “I think he’s going to be a good one once he gets some runs under him. He came from the Thompson ranch—Chace and Tyson Thompson’s uncle. They put him in a reining cow horse sale in Fort Worth when he was an 8-year-old. He’s only been roped on for about four years. The last few months we have really pushed him and he’s taking it good. He scores every time and leaves flat and gives me a chance to do whatever I need to do.”
Mattern, who has won two WCRA majors heeling for Garrett Tonozzi, met Falconer, a native Canadian who moved to Texas about eight months ago, at local ropings, and they quickly became a team to watch.
“I didn’t have anyone to heel for, and I had some head horses that were coming along. I asked Lucas if he wanted to rope with me at some amateur rodeos around the house,” Mattern said. “We nominated three or four rodeos and was good enough to get qualified for this.”
Mattern, having been to WCRA majors, shared some insights to what they event could hold for Falconer, which gave him the confidence to heel down.
“He told me how it goes and to be prepared to just knock them down,” Falconer said. “I just backed in there and I knew he was going to do his job if he could and let it play out like it did.”
As they sit back and wait to find out which teams will be advance from the final three semi-final rounds, the duo is prepared to try and knock down one more steer during Gold Medal night.
“We’re just going to have to go and try to make as good of a run as we can,” Mattern said. “Maybe draw a little better steer, but we’re just excited. I just want to score sharp and I’m probably going to throw in the same place I did tonight.”
Semi-Finals Performance 1 Full Results
1. Joe Mattern and Lucas Falconer, 5.44-second run
2. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueria, 5.45-second run
3. Britt Ellerman and Trey Johnson, 5.67-second run
4/5/6/7/8. Jason Stewart and Jason Duby, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. Brady Tryan and Justin Viles, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. Kellan Johnson and Cody Owens, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. Cory Clark and Dustin Searcy, No Time
4/5/6/7/8. Ty Blasingame and Corey Hendrick, No Time