After a slow weekend on the PRCA trail, JR Dees and Matt Zancanella made it to the pay window after winning the Newtown (North Dakota) Rodeo Days with a run in the rain of 4.6 seconds, adding $2,004 to each man's earnings.
"We had a really good steer," Dees, who won the Bob Feist Invitational in 2019, said. "He was a little more straight than the other ones. I got a pretty good start. It was raining, and I was just trying to get a good dally and get him out of Matt's way. He heeled him. We didn't do anything special. We just made a good run."
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Dees, who typically ropes with Cody Cowden, declared the California circuit this year but helped Zancanella make a big move in the Badlands Circuit.
"If I'm up around the house we'll go to some," Dees, who grew up with the Zancanella family, explained. "Cody wasn't down here yet so I roped with Matt."
Dees can usually be caught turning steers on his 9-year-old Appaloosa gelding Famous Dillon, but this time he gave Zancanella a handle on a 13-year-old horse he calls Moonshine.
"He's a heel horse that we've had that I've headed on the last couple years. He's real easy and flat. He lets you go rope and do your deal. He doesn't really get in your way. I like to ride him at the rodeos. You can make a good run and you can win good money because he's easier to do it on."
Now, with the summer run picking up and ropers preparing to head out for the Fourth run, Dees and Cowden paired back up and are currently leading the Buffalo Stampede in Kadoka, South Dakota.
"We just went 5.6 at Kadoka. We're winning first there right now. I'm just going to go and make my run and see what happens. I'm headed to Cody, Wyoming first for the slack on the 29th, then I go to Belle Fourche (South Dakota) in the slack and then Mandan (North Dakota) and Mobridge (South Dakota) on the same day. Then I'll get a day off and go to Oakley (Utah) and Prescott (Arizona)."
Dees now sits in the top 30 of the PRCA world standings with $12,180.51 in total season earnings.
"I feel like I'm more prepared than I've ever been. I feel like I have the best set of horses that I've ever had. I'm excited. I feel like my mind is more clear than it ever has been. Normally it's just real hectic and crazy—everyone is running around. This year not everything is going on at once. I don't know if I just love it, but it's pretty good for me right now as a good regrouper."
Newtown, N.D. 1. Jr. Dees/Matt Zancanella, 4.8 seconds, $2,004 each; 2. Rex Treeby/Elliott Gourneau, 5.7, $1,658; 3. Jade Schmidt/Dustin Harris, 6.3, $1,313; 4. Brit Ellerman/Trey Johnson, 7.3, $967; 5. Cody Hilzendeger/Chad Ystaas, 8.2, $622; 6. Clint Gorrell/Jake Beard, 10.7, $345.
Grover, Colo. 1. Zane Thompson/Colton Reed, 6.4 seconds, $988 each; 2. Bryton Scheller/Cullen Teller, 6.6, $818; 3. Corey Whinnery/Todd Wilson, 8.1, $647; 4. Jaguar Terrill/Tyler Whitlow, 8.2, $477; 5. Jhett Trenary/Trevor Schnaufer, 11.7, $307; 6. Mark Morrison/George Raftopoulos, 13.8, $170.
Mesquite, TX 1. Clint Summers/Douglas Rich, 4.4 seconds, $1,041 each; 2. Mason Boettcher/Eddie Medina, 4.8, $861; 3. Britt Smith/Jake Smith, 4.9, $682; 4. (tie) Chase Massengill/Lane Siggins and Aaron Macy/Jason Johe, 5.0, $413 each; 6. Cody Snow/Junior Nogueira, 5.1, $179.