And in 2023, Lovell’s got a renewed sense of purpose when it comes to being an all-around hand: his first invite to the Cinch Timed Event Championship at the Lazy E Arena, this March 2-4.
“I’ve been working out for two months now, lifting weights, and dang sure trying to get my core stronger,” Lovell, 35, said. “I wouldn’t say great shape but it’s dang sure better shape.”
Lovell—who won second in the 2010 World’s Greatest Roper and won the 2020 PRCA world title in the heading—has a history of tie-down roping and heeling, but he’ll be branching out into the bull dogging and the steer roping in 2023 at the CTEC.
“I’ve been bull dogging once a week for three weeks,” Lovell said. “It’s going OK. I’m no Tyler Waguespack. It’s pretty damn humbling. Riding a horse and all that I’m confident about, but going to get down and making my knee go down instead of my hip, that’s where it’s tough. If I get my knee down, I’m confident.”
The steer roping will be Lovell’s greatest challenge, he expects, but he’s doing his best to be prepared.
“The people from my hometown going to watch me, it’s very humbling and makes me want to be prepared as best I can,” Lovell said. “I roped calves a lot back in the day. But I’m working at all of them. It’s a lot to try to get ready when you have other stuff going on, especially when I’ve never bull dogged or tripped steers.”
Lovell is fresh off a win at the Roping Futurities of America Derby aboard Reys of Pep, the stud he just sold to Jake Cooper, so he’s dialed in when it comes to getting the feet. The Lazy E is also a hot spot for the Madisonville, Texas, hand, because he won his share of the $90,000-first-place check with Dakota Kirchenschlager in November at the E in the inaugural event.
Lovell will have the help of reigning World Champ Kaleb Driggers in the heading and heeling, and he’ll ride Paul Eaves’ world champion heel horse Guapo in the heeling. He hasn’t picked a head horse just yet, but he’s working on it. And it’s safe to say he’s got a decent string at his disposal, given his roping industry connections.