That was Dustin Egusquiza’s sentiment after he and Travis Graves won $50,000 a man plus Bloomer Trailers at the Feb. 28 Lone Star Shootout in Stephenville, Texas, just a day after pocketing $11,400 each for second at San Antonio’s Stock Show and Rodeo.
And that’s after the 2021 PRCA World Standings leaders already won Jackson, Mississippi’s Dixie National Rodeo and Odessa, Texas’s Sandhill Stock Show and Rodeo this winter. Not to mention, earlier this very morning (Monday, March 1) they added the Patriot’s Open to their list of winter wins, worth another $21,770.
“The weather has been so bad, with the snow storm, and now it’s been raising, and we haven’t gotten to practice at all,” Graves, 37, from Jay, Oklahoma, said. “We had to be 5.5 on that last one, and we were 4-flat. That was the deal, we went to San Antone, and we had to go fast down there on two of them. And Dustin’s just in the routine. We have to stay hooked and keep doing what we’re doing.”
Egusquiza is staying hooked on Jack, the sorrel gelding he cracked out just before the 2020 NFR en route to winning $87,000 on him in Arlington this December. The horse isn’t exactly free running right about now, but that didn’t bother the Southeast Circuit’s gunslinger.
“I mean I’ve been rodeoing on him and he’s been feeling pretty tight and we’ve been busy,” Egusquiza, 25, from Marianna, Florida, said. “I haven’t had time to practice. I just went ahead and went with it. I had to be 5.5 and I knew I had a tight horse, so I went for it.”
[Read More: The Little-Known Egusquiza-Graves Horse Connection]
The Lone Star Shootout, produced by Robertson Hill Ranches’ Austin Robertson, was enter three times, two rounds, with the 10 fastest times plus two fastest #16.5 incentive teams from each of the five rotations advancing to the Sunday night three-header—formatted after the long-successful George Strait Team Roping Classic, which Egusquiza (2016) and Graves (2015) each won once.
“It’s the best roping all year,” Graves added. “It really is. It pays $50,000 and a $50,000 horse trailer. You’ve got $1,650 up, and they pay 10 holes and you’ve got three chances.”
Graces’ opinion holds water. He’s arguably the best jackpotter going right now, with three Wildfire Open to the World titles, two US Open wins and a BFI championship, in addition to his George Strait win and now his Lone Star Shootout title.
Graves rode Dual Chip for the win, a departure from the young dun horse he’s been on for most of the 2021 campaign.
“I haven’t gotten to practice on my dun at all,” Graves said. “He was a little bit tight. I just decided to get on Chip for Dustin on all of them. I missed for Riley Minor and roped a leg on the second one, and I roped a leg for Coleman on the second one so I got on Chip for everything after that. I’m going to ride Chip at The American this weekend and I won’t need him for a while after that.”
Egusquiza and Graves will rope Saturday March 6 in AT&T Stadium for RFD-TV’s The American’s long round, and in the meantime Egusquiza is likely going to leave his money-making horse alone.
“I might run a couple steers on him this week and get him thinking about running a little bit, but I’m going to ride him at The American and I probably won’t need a lot of run over there so I probably won’t worry too much.” TRJ