money money money

Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord Kick Off 2024 Cowboy Christmas with Greeley Win
Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord pocketed $10,330 a man for the 2024 Greeley Stampede win to kick off their Cowboy Christmas.
Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord taking a victory lap for winning the 2024 Greeley Stampede.
Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord taking a victory lap for winning the 2024 Greeley Stampede. | Jake Hodnett photo

Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord were the kings of Cowboy Christmas last year, and they kicked off their 2024 Fourth-of-July run taking home the Greeley Stampede win.

The No. 1 men in the world standings raked in $10,330 a man in Greeley after coming back high call Wednesday, July 3, to put them at $91,894.22 won on the year.

“It’s a big win,” Lord, 28, said. “It’s the rodeo that kind of starts off the Fourth and you can win a lot of money there, so it definitely sets you up to have a good week if you do good there. They made it two (rounds) and a short, and it’s gotten really good here the last couple years; they have awesome fans, and it’s a really nice area and nice arena, so it was fun to win over there.”

Egusquiza and Lord’s winning ways in Greeley

Egusquiza and Lord kicked off Greeley with a 6.0 in Round 1. They were outside the money as their steer took off and ran, but they laid a solid foundation for the average. They drew a similar steer in Round 2 and had to decide what approach to take at him.

“We could either lay up and just be middle of the pack and probably not get any money, or we could kind of try to go at him and probably be high call and get some round money,” explained three-time NFR qualifier Lord. “That’s what we settled on and we kind of went at the second one.”

Egusquiza and Lord tied for second, third and fourth in the second round with a 4.4 and pocketed $3,109 a man. Their 10.4 on two steers brought them back high call, just like they planned.

With the chaos of Cowboy Christmas in full swing, Egusquiza and Lord both had to mix it up on their horsepower. Egusquiza rode Cajun Treat, aka “Cajun,” in the first round but jumped on his bay King Sabre Bar in the second round and short round because he knew he’d need Cajun at the Northwest rodeos, like St. Paul.

“It wasn’t the ideal situation to ride that bay down there high call at Greeley just because he’s tight right now,” Egusquiza, a six-time NFR qualifier, admitted. “But, luckily, the setup was kind of easy enough over there, like, a lot easier than the St. Paul setup or something like that, so it worked out. I got a decent start (in the short round) and the Monteras let us come over there and free him up a little bit right before. So, it worked out really good.”

Lord also made a horse change in order to have the right horse in St. Paul and switched from Birdie—whose registered name is Zoomin Diamond Prom—in the first two rounds to Pauly in the short. Egusquiza and Lord had some time to play with in the average, but with a stronger steer drawn they had no choice but to be aggressive.

“I think we had to be some kind of eight, but the horses we sent over there kind of make us be pretty aggressive,” Lord said. “We didn’t have much of an option, and the steer we had in the short round was actually pretty strong also. We just went at him and tried to make a normal run.”

Their 5.2-second run nabbed them third in the short round for $912 a man and the average win with a 15.6 on three head for $6,309 each.

Cowboy Christmas

Egusquiza and Lord were the top money earners over the Fourth in 2023, banking $25,263 a man. And while they’ve been a major force to reckoned with in 2024, leading the world standings and taking home major wins in Denver, Odessa and Guymon, their Cowboy Christmas has been a little all over the place this year.

“It’s kind of a weird Fourth for us,” Lord said. “We’ve won quite a bit, I guess, but we don’t really feel like we’ve been roping that good. We’ve both had a couple of easy misses that could have definitely set us up a lot better than we are.”

While they feel they’ve left some money on the table at a few rodeos, they also picked up $3,826 a man for fourth at the Livingston Roundup Rodeo (Montana), and they’re grateful for the wins they’ve had so far and the opportunities that are still left this Cowboy Christmas.

“We’re grateful to win when we can,” Lord said. “I think we’re somewhere around $20,000 for the week (between Greeley, Livingston and the $3,596 they both picked up for winning the Roughrider Days Rodeo in Dickinson, North Dakota, June 28-30) and we have a couple chances left, so we definitely can’t complain.”

Egusquiza and Lord have two opportunities left in their Fourth run, roping next at the Western Stampede in West Jordan, Utah, July 6, followed by the 89th Annual Independence Day Rodeo in Oakley, Utah. They’ll take a few days off before heading to Casper Wyoming, July 9-13, for the Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo.

Who else is winning this Cowboy Christmas?

While Cowboy Christmas isn’t over quite yet, the top money earners over Cowboy Christmas in 2022 Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira currently have the lead in the Fourth of July race with an estimated $25,567 won thus far.

The 2021 and 2022 world champions had a major payday at the Ponoka Stampede, raking in $17,131 a man for the win. They also cashed in $4,206 each for winning the second round in Greeley and $4,230 a man for second at the Home of Champions Rodeo in Red Lodge, Montana. The competition over the Fourth is a fun tradition for the cowboys each year.

“It’s just fun to follow it and see who’s doing what,” Lord said. “I mean, we all go to the same 10 or so rodeos, so everybody kind of gets the same chances. I think it’s pretty clear who’s going to win it this year—Kaleb and Junior are doing amazing. They haven’t really messed up, and they’re winning about everywhere they go; you can’t have too many mulligans up against those guys.”

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