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Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord Continue to Dominate 2024, Climbing to No. 1 and 2 in the World Standings
Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord conquered the muleys to win the 2024 Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, bumping Egusquiza to No. 1 in the world and Lord to No. 2.
Dustin and Levi winning Guymon 2024. | Dale Hirschman photo

Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord have taken 2024 by storm, now moving to the top of the world standings with Egusquiza at No. 1 and Lord at No. 2, both with $70,234.22 won on the year.

The rise comes after the team’s win at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo in Oklahoma, May 3–5, where they roped three muleys in 22.6 seconds and took home $5,298 a man between the rounds and the aggregate. With a longer barrier and walking-fresh muleys, Guymon isn’t exactly the setup that comes to mind when thinking of the team of gunslingers. But after winning the Sandhills Stock Show & Rodeo (Odessa, Texas), National Western Stock Show and Rodeo (Denver), Rodeo Austin and now Guymon, they’ve proved their range and that they’re out for blood after the 2023 NFR.

“It just feels like our run has been working on all the setups this year,” said six-time NFR header Egusquiza. “I don’t know what changed besides a little bit of a sting coming off last year’s NFR, just wanting to do better after the performance we had out there and make up for it. We just really want to be there towards the top and have a chance to win the world.”

While the pair of 28-year-olds can’t exactly nail down just one reason as to why they’ve had so much success on a variety of setups, three-time NFR heeler Lord believes confidence in each other has been key. 

“We definitely both have high confidence in each other,” Lord explained. “I don’t think either one of us is ever doubting our partner, and we’re almost always on the same page. It definitely helps to have chemistry with your partner, and we rope together every day and we both have good horses, and it’s just been going really good.”

A winter to remember for Egusquiza and Lord

To put their winter and spring into perspective, by mid-May of 2023, Egusquiza and Lord had $51,049.52 won on the year. The $19,184.70 difference between May 2023 and May 2024 is partly thanks to higher catch percentages (74% thus far). While their major wins in Denver and Odessa, for example, have been key, they also picked up solid checks in Fort Worth, San Antonio and San Angelo—despite some missed opportunities in the short round—to aid in their climb. 

“We’re three dallies away from having a near-flawless year,” Egusquiza said. “Our run feels really good. It feels like we’ve got confidence every time we go somewhere. It’s just really been working out. Levi keeps up with our catch percentages, and I know both of our percentages are quite a bit higher this year than they were last year.”

Egusquiza and Lord are known for their go-fast style, and while they’re not backing down from taking risks, this year they’re putting more emphasis on consistent capitalization. This also includes keeping the PRCA Playoff Series tour standings in mind so as not to miss the cut for the Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls again.

READ: Team Egusquiza and Lord: A Gunslinging Twofer

“We’ve been getting the most money won but, at the same time, we know we need to catch more than we did last year,” Lord said. “Missing Sioux Falls was not a good deal for us and not getting any tour points. We would win rounds, but then we’d miss the other one and that’s how you get the tour points. So, we’ve just been trying to keep that a little bit more in our mind.”

Winning horsepower

Egusquiza and Lord also credit their horses for their success. Egusquiza added 11-year-old King Sabre Bar to his lineup this year, and the bay gelding has allowed him to pick and choose where he rides his first-stringer Cajun Treat, aka “Cajun,” while still having a horse he can win on.

Dustin Egusquiza's King Sabre Bar.

“I’ve got a new horse that has fit these winter setups, and I think that’s what’s allowed us to win so much,” Egusquiza said. “I kind of have some more confidence on him everywhere. He’s really good on the end of the rope and faces good, leaves flat, lets me reach on him and I’ve kind of been saving [Cajun] for the summertime a little bit.” 

Lord is also set up for success between Zoomin Diamond Prom (Birdie) and Pauly, whom he rode in Guymon.

“It’s kind of been my system here for the last couple years—I ride Pauly at some of those different setups and longer setups, just to try to be easier on Birdie and save him for what I know he’s really good at,” Lord explained. “And then I think Pauly kind of thrives in those unique setups. He’s a little bit faster, maybe, and just pretty easy.”

The Guymon muleys

Lord now has two Guymon titles to his name, his first in 2021 with Nelson Wyatt. He also conquered the muleys in California back in 2022 with Jr. Dees for the Clovis Rodeo win, suggesting they’re no match for the South Dakota native. 

“You go to Guymon and Clovis, it’s dang sure full contact,” Lord said. “They’re fresh and they have them big and stout. They just come right off the pasture and they’re wild. It’s just a little bit harder on a guy. The header’s got to be paying attention and for sure the heeler’s got to be paying attention, but I seem to like it, obviously.” 

Learn from Dustin Egusquiza on Roping.com

Egusquiza credits Lord for his heeling, recognizing fresh muleys are no joke. Drawing relatively consistent cows over the three rounds also helps, Egusquiza noted.

“Somehow, it just all fell into place this year,” Egusquiza said. “I feel like those rodeos like that have a little bit of luck involved as well, and luck was on our side this year. It’s a pretty cool rodeo to win, though. That’s definitely one of the ones that I haven’t won yet and I wanted to win it.”

Full contact for 2024

Egusquiza and Lord have set themselves up nicely for the rest of the year, but they’re not taking their feet off the gas anytime soon. While $100,000 might be a safe amount to qualify for the NFR, Egusquiza and Lord have their sights set on the $200,000 mark in the regular season. 

They have no intentions of backing off their rodeo count, either. Egusquiza and Lord still plan to hit the road hard this summer, just potentially skipping out on some rodeos that are harder to work into their schedule.

“It’s nice to have a little cushion, but I don’t think our summer would really look any different,” Lord said. “We’re going to go to the best rodeos we can. We might not do anything crazy as far as having to be literally everywhere, but I think a guy can enter good enough and get up good enough where he can be everywhere he needs to be without having to try to kill himself.”

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