"I'd be more nervous having to be 5.5 than 3.7." —Dustin Egusquiza

Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves took the top honors at the San Antonio (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo after banking $24,000 a man in the tournament-style rodeo.

Egusquiza and Graves were 11th out and blasted a run after Egusquiza came across the barrier with his infamous reaching abilities, which gave Graves time to make sure to catch the big-money steer clean to be 4.0 seconds to put pressure on the last team out of Coleman Proctor and Ryan Motes. 

"I grew up doing that in shorter setups like that," Egusquiza said about his insane reaching ability. "It’s what’s comfortable to me. I’ve been working hard on the other game, too, but that’s just my go-to and it’s comfortable. I don’t really know how to explain it. There was so much messing around practicing like that all the time so it feels really natural. I’d be more nervous having to be 5.5 than 3.7."

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If the cards were to have fallen on times, Egusquiza and Graves would have tied for the win with Matt Sherwood and Trey Yates, who also stopped the clock in 4.0 seconds in the final round, worth $13,500 a man. But, Egusquiza and Graves had more money won going into the finals, which handed them the initial championship title. 

"I just wanted to do whatever it took to take the lead," Egusquiza said. "If a 5.5 was winning the round then I just wanted to be some kind of five and take the lead. At the same time, Coleman was right behind me and if he beat me then he would have won the rodeo. Trey was 4-flat. I was kind of happy when they were 4-flat, really. It took a little bit of pressure off to just let me do what I’ve been doing all week."

[LISTEN: The Score Season 1, Episode 15 with Travis Graves]

"We had a really good steer," Graves added. "Dustin talked about the steer before we ever went down there. He was like, ‘Man, if we have that steer that would be awesome.’ I’ll be danged if we didn’t have that steer. Everything was lined up for us. It’s always cool to win a big rodeo like that. Dustin—he’s never won it. I was super excited too, but he was really excited. It’s a goal that when you’re a kid you want to win all these big rodeos and to win one like that sure makes it a lot more fun."

They drew the steer tagged 24, which is one that Egusquiza has had his eyes on since he laid down a run on that exact steer in 3.61-seconds heading for Kaleb Driggers at the Timed Event Challenge in Fort Worth, presented by Western Horseman.

"The Cowboy Channel has been airing the rodeo every night," Egusquiza noted. "I don’t have the channel, but I went over to a buddy of mine’s house and watched it a few nights. I seen that steer go both times and I told my buddy that I really wanted that steer if they would draw me that on the last day. Tanner Baldwin and Nano Garza were 5.1 in the first semifinals, and Clay Smith and Jade (Corkill) were 4.1. It’s the same steer that me and Kaleb were 3.6 on at the horse show in Fort Worth when he heeled for me. I didn’t even know if they had put him in there because he was so good. I walked up there and couldn’t believe it when I saw it had 24—that was him."

[READ: Travis Graves' Drill: Holding On To Your Rope]

Egusquiza and Graves started off on a high note, placing in all three rounds in bracket three, advancing them to the semifinals with $6,000 won. They roped in bracket one of the semifinals and added $4,500 to their earnings after tying Luke Brown and Patrick Smith for first in the second round with a 4.0-second run, advancing them to the finals with $10,500 a man. 

"I roped a leg on the first one and we won third anyway," Graves admitted. "In the first run of the semifinals I lost a leg to win that round. That was for another $5,000. The steer went down a little bit right when I threw, and I roped him but I didn’t get very much tip through there which caused me to lose a leg. 

[READ: Forward Motion with Dustin Egusquiza]

Graves now has two San Antonio wins under his belt, having won it with Turtle Powell in 2008. But what's different is the rodeo setup. 

"I think it used to be a four-header,” Graves said. "You would run three and then the short round would be at the end. You were guaranteed three and then the top 12 would come back to the short round. It was cool to win it. It’s one of those rodeos you always want to win. I was excited to win it this year."

[READ: Tips: Spoke Length with Travis Graves]

Egusquiza, 24, rode his 14-year-old sorrel gelding, Timbers Dude, also known as Dude, whom he's ridden since the horse was 4 years old in the heeling and calf roping. 

"That horse is like a once-in-a-lifetime horse for me," Egusquiza said. "I heeled on him in high school and college. I calf roped on him in high school and college. I made it to the National Finals in high school calf roping on him. When my good horse died in October of ’16 Dude was still my heel horse. I never headed on him so I started heading on him and he was the only thing I had and he stepped up. Ever since then he’s been a head horse. He’s just been an awesome horse. He’s done everything we could ever do together, and I’d never sell him."

Dude—Dustin Egusquiza

Dustin Egusquiza's Dude

Graves started out on Lunchbox, the 10-year-old sorrel gelding that he won the Wildfire XXII Open Gunslinger on with Luke Brown, but after the first round he got on Dual Chip (Chip), who he purchased from Joseph Harrison in 2018.

"I rode my little sorrel, Lunchbox, on my very first steer and then I switched and rode Chip the rest of the time," Graves said. "I hadn’t been able to ride Chip a whole lot. He got hurt before the NFR. He pulled his back suspensory and he had been a little off as far as just bringing him back slow. I wanted to make sure he was alright. I haven’t been practicing on him or anything really. I have been riding that sorrel horse a lot so I decided to ride him. I took them both down there. The sorrel did alright. After the first one I decided to switch and get on Chip just because I know him so good. I’ve won a lot on him. He worked great the rest of the time. He’s actually sound again and he’s firing on all cylinders now. I’m excited about that."

[READ: Graves Hoping To Have Dream Horse Rodeo Ready To Do NFR Battle]

Travis Graves' Dual Chip

Travis Graves' Dual Chip

Egusquiza and Graves have the same end-game in mind, and that's to go into the Wrangler National Finals on top. Egusquiza wants to have the Finals made by the time the Reno (Nevada) Rodeo rolls around. 

"To go in at the top I think is a goal for everybody," Graves, who roped with Ty Blasingame at the 2019 NFR, said. "I would really like to go in at the top. That’s what our goal is. To have a great year and a great NFR. That’s the whole point. I want to have a really good year and try to go in at number-one, which that’s been my goal every year."

 [READ: Next Level with Dustin Egusquiza]

 Full Results: 

Bracket 1: First round: 1. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, 5.2 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. (tie) Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch and Garett Chick/Walt Woodard, 5.5, $1,625 each; 4. Paul David Tierney/Cody Doescher, 5.8, $750. 

Second round: 1. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, 3.9 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Steven Duby/Jason Duby, 4.2, $2,000; 3. Brandon Webb/Kasper Roy, 4.6, $1,250; 4. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 4.9, $750. 

Third round: 1. Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, 3.7 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jake Long and Bubba Buckaloo/Cole Davison, 4.1, $1,625 each; 4. Paul David Tierney/Cody Doescher, 4.5, $750. 

Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, $5,000 each; 2. Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, $4,125; 3. Steven Duby/Justin Duby, $2,000; 4. Bubba Buckaloo/Cole Davison, $1,625.

Bracket 2: First round: 1. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes and Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 4.2 seconds, $2,250 each; 3. Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, 4.5, $1,250; 4. Quisto Lopez/B.J. Dugger, 5.2, $750. 

Second round: 1. (tie) Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes and Garrett Rogers/Jake Minor, 3.9 seconds, $2,225 each; 3. Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, 4.2, $1,250; 4. Quisto Lopez/B.J. Dugger, 4.3, $750. 

Third round: 1. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 4.2 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Spencer Mitchell/Cesar de la Cruz, 6.5, $2,000; 3. Bradley Massey/Britt Bockius, 9.4, $1,250; 4. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 9.7, $750. 

Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, $4,500 each; 2. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, $3,000; 3. Jake Cooper/Caleb Anderson, $2,500; 4. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, $2,500.

Bracket 3: First round: 1. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 4.2 seconds, $2,500; 2. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, 4.2, $2,000; 3. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 9.1, $1,250; no other qualified runs. 

Second round: 1. Dustin Bird/Levi Tyan, 3.5 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Dustin Egusquiza/ Travis Graves, 4.1, $2,000; 3. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 4.6, $1,250; 4. Jr. Dees/Lane Siggins, 6.7, $750. 

Third round: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 3.6 seconds, $2,500 each; 2., Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 4.0, $2,000; 3. Cyle Denison/Lane Mitchell, 4.2, $1,250; 4. Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan, 8.5, $750. 

Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, $6,000 each; 2. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, $4,000; 3. Dustin Bird/Levi Tyan, $2,500; 4. Ty Blasingame/Brandon Bates, $2,250.

Bracket 4: First round: 1. Levi Simpson/Shay Carroll, 3.9 seconds, $2,500; 2. (tie) Brooks Dahozy/Jeremy Buhler and Nick Sartain/Coleby Payne, 4.2, $1,625 each; 4. (tie) Charly Crawford/Logan Medlin and Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 4.3, $375 each. 

Second round: 1. (tie) Tanner Baldwin/Nano Garza and Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 4.2 seconds, $2,250 each; 3. Levi Simpson/Shay Carroll, 4.3, $1,250; 4. Garrett Tonozzi/Dustin Davis, 4.7, $750. 

Third round: 1. Charly Crawford/Logan Medlin and Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins III, 4.3 seconds, $2,250 each; 3. Tanner Baldwin/Nano Garza, 4.6, $1,250; Levi Simpson/Shay Carroll, 4.8, $750. 

Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Levi Simpson/Shay Carroll, $4,500 each; 2. Charly Crawford/Logan Medlin, $3,875; 3. Tanner Baldwin/Nano Garza, $3,500; 4. Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, $2,625.

Bracket 5: First round: 1. Billy Bob Brown/Tanner Braden, 4.1 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, 4.3, $2,000; 3. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 4.3, $1,250; 4. Britt Smith/Jake Smith, 4.7, $750. 

Second round: 1. Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, 4.2 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Kal Fuller/Reagan Ward, 4.3, $2,000; 3. Cory Kidd/Jake Edwards, 13.9, $1,250; 4. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, 22.1, $750. 

Third round: 1. Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates, 4.1 seconds, $2,500 each; 2. Tate Kirchenschlager/Ross Ashford, 6.1, $2,000; 3. Britt Smith/Jake Smith, 9.5, $1,250; 4. Lathen Bryant/Austin Rogers, 9.9, $750. Semifinals qualifiers: 1. Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, $4,125 each; 2. (tie) Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates and Billy Bob Brown/Tanner Braden, $2,500 each; 4. Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres, $2,375.

Semifinals:

Bracket 1: First round: 1. Charly Crawford/Logan Medlin, 4.2 seconds, $5,000 each; 2. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 4.5, $4,000; 3. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 5.1, $2,500; 4. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, 6.9, $1,500. 

Second round: 1. (tie) Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves and Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, 4.0 seconds, $4,500 each; 3. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, 4.2, $2,500; 4. Levi Simpson/Shay Carroll, 4.4, $1,500. 

Finals qualifiers: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, $10,500 each; 2. Cody Snow/Paul Eaves, $9,500; 3. Charly Crawford/Logan Medlin, $8,875; 4. Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, $8,625; 5. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, $6,500. 

Bracket 2: First round: 1. (tie) Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates and Billy Bob Brown/Tanner Braden, 4.8 seconds, $4,500 each; 3. Tanner Baldwin/Nano Garza, 5.1, $2,500; 4. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 5.5, $1,500. 

Second round: 1. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 4.4 seconds, $5,000; 2. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, 4.2, $4,000; 3. (tie) Billy Bob Brown/Tanner Braden and Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 4.6, $2,000 each.

Finals qualifiers: 1. Billy Bob Brown/Tanner Braden, $9,000; 2. (tie) Clay Smith/Jade Corkill and Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, $8,500; 4. Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates, $7,000; 5. Tanner Baldwin/Nano Garza, $6,000.

Wild Card: 1. Blake Texeira/Dillon Wingereid, 4.1 seconds, $5,000 each; 2. Curry Kirchner/Chad Mathes, 4.4, $4,000; 3. Andrew Livingston/Eddie Medina, 4.5, $2,500; 4. Doyle Hoskins/Monty Joe Petska, 5.6, $1,500.

Finals: 1. (tie) Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates and Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 4.0 seconds, $13,500 each; 3. Charly Crawford/Login Medlin, 4.9, $7,500; 4. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 5.5, $4,500. 

Champions: Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves, $24,000 each

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