With their horses and rig already in St. Paul, Oregon, they jumped aboard Coy Rahlmann’s rock-solid roan gelding Blue and Chase Tryan’s steady sorrel Friendly, backed into the box at fourth callback and ran down a strong heifer to stop the clock in 6.4 seconds. That was fast enough to hold the lead and win $5,868 a man for the average win with a time of 16.9 seconds on three head. They picked up another $1,008 a man for second in the short round and another $638 for tying for the last hole in Round 1, bringing their Greeley total to $7,514 each.
It’s a bit of cash that will go a long way for the partners from Seba Dalkai and Willcox, Arizona, who doubted they’d rodeo too much to begin with in 2023. Todd had been on a rodeo hiatus since 2008 when he made the NFR on the head side, raising a family with his wife Carly. Begay had just started a family with wife Justine, but they’d got into some of the winter rodeos and won the Turquoise Circuit last fall. So, might as well go “a bit.”
That “a little” turned into paychecks at Tucson, Arizona’s Las Fiesta de los Vaqueros, the San Angelo (Texas) Stock Show and Rodeo, the Red Bluff (California) Round-Up and Rodeo de Santa Fe in New Mexico. And it turned into wins at the Clark County Fair and Rodeo in Logandale, Nevada, the Guymon (Oklahoma) Pioneer Days and now the Greeley Stampede. As of June 30, Begay sits eighth in the PRCA world standings with $44,589 won, while Todd is 13th with $39,839.
“Anytime you get to go home, you get to forget about rodeo and trying to do whatever. We’ve been going home a lot, every week. So I don’t count that as rodeoing. But we’re fixing to be rodeoing.”
“You know the saying, ‘Winning is fun’?” Todd added. “To me, it is.”
Begay and Todd were fourth callback after making two good runs with a 5.1 and a 5.4 in slack. Their 10.5 on two head had them within striking distance of the high call teams of Nelson Wyatt and Chase Tryan and Mason Appleton and Cooper Freeman at 9.3 on two. But then the short round plum fell apart, and a reasonable catch would put them in the lead and sure-enough guarantee a good check to start Cowboy Christmas.
@teamropingjournal These guys making a run at the top 15 like 🤯🔥☄️ #derrickbegay #coltertodd #COWBOY #ranchy #heelshot #rodeo #roping #teamroping ♬ All The Way Up（Remix）
The heifer they’d drawn was a little stronger, and on borrowed mounts, it was a good thing they needed to just catch.
“Jade Corkill said if you have to borrow a horse, start by asking to ride the best one there,” Begay said. “So that roan was the place to start.”
No problem on the head side, as Begay got out and got it on him easy, but Todd was playing catch up.
“I was just thinking, Hunter (Koch) just got done talking about how everything gets blurry, but if something is going different, you can see things that aren’t normal,” Begay said.
@teamropingjournal Derrick Begay and Colter Todd are “rodeoin’ a little”. Greeley Champs and they’re well inside the top 15. #teamroping #rodeo #cowboy #ranchraised #heelshot #weliveiteveryday @resistol1927 ♬ Fighters
Todd, on 17-year-old Friendly, got a little out of whack leaving the box and was playing catch-up riding down the arena.
“I don’t ride very good,” Todd laughed. “I watched him go, and I obviously didn’t ride him very good because that’s a good horse… You ever get like you’re thinking you’re going to really embarrass yourself, and so you almost quit thinking so you just go into survival mode? I think that was it. I already knew I had to grab the saddle horn to get myself feeling good in the saddle. The steer was headed to the right, so I was like, ‘Well, I don’t care, he’s heading to the right, you go catch him.’ I think I actually have these thoughts quite often for me, and this is one of my personal deals. God lets things happen to me to where my mental clock turns off, and you just have to react. If everything would have went smooth right there, I’d have been thinking I got to heel him fast. But everything went so far South, I was thinking, ‘Whatever you do, don’t miss.'”
With some tricky dallying, Begay and Todd came tight in 6.4 seconds at the bottom end of the pen, putting the heat on the next three teams who fell just short of their 16.9 on three. That gave Begay and Todd the victory lap, plus the fancy Greeley trophy saddles—which, second-place team Luke Brown and Hunter Koch threw in their truck for them, since the champs were heading back to the airport for St. Paul, Oregon, Friday morning.
Brown and Koch
After making 13 straight Wrangler National Finals Rodeos, Luke Brown has missed the last two. But he and two-time NFR heeler Hunter Koch aren’t planning to be denied in 2023.
At fifth call in Greeley, Brown and Koch made a veterans’ 7.8-second run, holding on for second with an 18.5 on three worth $4,720 a man. They also banked $2,381 each for fourth in the second round and $798 a man for third in the short round. That has Brown 11th in the PRCA world standings with $40,368 won, and Koch is 12th with the same amount.
“I missed the barrier a little bit,” Brown, 48, said. “He was pretty good the first two times. I was a little afraid to run at him too much but I didn’t need to be late either. But I missed the barrier a little bit and was kind of wide, and felt like I had to go catch him. I was too far away to make a good run. I just went and caught him.”
“That steer went left the first two times, so I kind of laid back trying to keep him a little straighter,” Koch, 25, added. “I contradicted Luke’s game plan. When I saw Luke go catch, I told myself, ‘Just catch him and win what you can win and go on to St. Paul.’ I just came through the corner and waited until I seen a good jump and it worked out good.”
Full Results Greeley Stampede Team Roping
First round: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Chase Tryan, 4.3 seconds, $3,912 each; 2. (tie) Dawson Graham/Dillon Graham and Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin, 4.5, $3,147 each; 4. Mason Appleton/Cooper Freeman, 4.6, $2,381; 5. Hagen Peterson/Caleb Hendrix, 5.0, $1,871; 6. (tie) Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, Tanner James/Wyatt Cox, Cole Thomas/Clay Green and Paul David Tierney/Tanner Braden, 5.1, $638 each.
Second round: 1. Tyler Wade/Wesley Thorp, 4.0 seconds, $3,912 each; 2. Mason Appleton/Cooper Freeman, 4.7, $3,402; 3. Brayden Schmidt/Chris Young, 4.8, $2,892; 4. Luke Brown/Hunter Koch, 4.9, $2,381; 5. (tie) Keven Daniel/Travis Graves, Brenten Hall/Paden Bray and Nelson Wyatt/Chase Tryan, 5.0, $1,361 each; 8. Payden Emmett/Lucas Falconer, 5.2, $340.
Finals: 1. Peter Bennett/Jake Rodriguez, 5.9 seconds, $1,218 each; 2. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 6.4, $1,008; 3. Luke Brown/Hunter Koch, 7.8, $798; 4. Kellan Johnson/Carson Johnson, 8.0, $588; 5. Mason Appleton/Cooper Freeman, 9.2, $378; 6. Cole Thomas/Clay Green, 10.3, $210.
Average: 1. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 16.9 seconds on three head, $5,868 each; 2. (tie) Luke Brown/Hunter Koch and Mason Appleton/Cooper Freeman, 18.5, $4,720 each; 4. (tie) Kellan Johnson/Carson Johnson and Peter Bennett/Jake Rodriguez, 18.7, $3,189 each; 6. Cole Thomas/Clay Green, 20.7, $2,041; 7. Ben Jordan/Scott Lauaki, 27.2, $1,276; 8. Nelson Wyatt/Chase Tryan, 9.3 on two head, $510.