Justin Thigpen is no stranger to Oklahoma success. The Waycross, Georgia cowboy has won 19 International Professional Rodeo Association titles in Oklahoma City, including championships in the heading, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and all-around.
But Guthrie's Cinch Timed Event Championship, held in the Lazy E Arena, is introducing to a whole new audience and allowing the top hand to shine in a new set up. The IPRA champ is a newcomer to the storied Ironman event, and he's making his presence known early.
After 10 head, Thigpen leads the Cinch Timed Event Championship with an aggregate time of 147.8 seconds, winning second in both the first and second rounds and already pocketing $4,000.
"I've been wanting to come for several years, and I finally got the invite," Thigpen said. "Praise God, we're just trying to make the most of it. There's some hiccups along the way, but it's like a 10-round fight, you've got to keep fighting until the end. I just want to do my job. This is a great event. I'm a timed-event cowboy, and I just hope to showcase all my skills."
Thigpen produces and competes in IPRA rodeos across the Southeast, and his wife and 3-year-old son came with him to watch.
"I've got an army of support behind me," Thigpen said. "My little boy Trent came back here after the bull dogging and gave me a thumbs up."
Another Southeast Circuit cowboy is having a good weekend so far, as Marcus Theriot is second and just 3.5 seconds behind Thigpen. TRJ
First round: 1. Jordan Ketscher, 60.7 seconds, $3,000; 2. Justin Thigpen, 72.1, $2,000; 3. Brent Lewis, 73.9, $1,000.
Second round: 1. Marcus Theriot, 73.6 seconds, $3,000; 2 Justin Thigpen, 75.7, $2,000; 3. Clayton Hass, 78.3, $1,000.
Average leaders: 1. Justin Thigpen, 147.8 seconds; 2. Marcus Theriot, 150.2; 3. Cody Doescher, 157.9; 4. Clayton Hass, 168.8; 5. Clay Smith, 170.7; 6. Jordan Ketscher, 181.6; 7. Jess Tierney, 182.2; 8. Erich Rogers, 187.1.