Bout Time

Rogers and Eaves Finally Strike with Round 6 Win
Rogers and Eaves break the ice with a Round 6 win.
Erich Rogers Paul Eaves
Rogers as his head loop dropped onto the steer to help him win Round 6. | Jamie Arviso Photo

Erich Rogers and Paul Eaves roped their sixth round steer at the 2023 National Finals Rodeo in 3.5 seconds, the fastest run of the rodeo so far, to win the go-round and $30,706 a man.

Rogers, who won gold in 2017, and Eaves, the 2018 and 2020 world champ, have long been two of the most consistent ropers in the Thomas & Mack. But after five rounds, they’d yet to win a dime in Las Vegas in 2023. That is until they drew a steer they thought would fall on the softer side of the pen.

“When I saw the draw, Rhen Richard ran him in the third round,” Rogers said. “He kind of hung on the end of it, Rhen broke the barrier and they ended up getting a leg too. Rhen told me he’s not really going to start but be good, and I saw a video and he did the same thing today. It kind of felt like he checked up just a little bit on me, and I kind of threw the old skipper head loop on there. It came on tight.”

Rogers made an adjustment to the lay of his rope after struggling with missed head catches early in the week.

“I had too soft of a rope I felt like,” Rogers said. “I swapped up and got little stiffer rope where it was easy for me to open up and stick it on them.”

The rope swap must have worked, because when Rogers skipped the rope over the steer’s horns, his loop still went on tighter and fast.

Erich Rogers
Rogers letting it lay to let it pay in Round 6 of the 2023 NFR. | Jamie Arviso Photo

“I threw the old skipper head loop on there,” Rogers laughed. “There was a split pause, just enough, to where I was like, ‘Oh shoot.’ But then it came on and it was time to get out of the hole.”

Rogers was also on a green horse, his 9-year-old mare Popular And Famous (Popular Resortfigure out of Dashin Kate Lane by Devon Lane), and he felt like he had the fast-footed mare dialed in by Round 6.

Popular And Famous

“It’s a good thing to have when you have a young horse’s first time here and she’s stepping up to the plate in a big way,” Rogers said. “Two years ago, she was pretty dang green and I never thought I’d have her here. I rodeoed on her all summer long and she stepped up to the plate and carried the team and did a good job.”

Paul Eaves on TRR Big Hustler winning Round 6 of the 2023 NFR. | Jamie Arviso Photo

Eaves, too, is on a new-to-the-Thomas-&-Mack mount, 12-year-old TRR Big Hustler by TRR Big Iron out of the Colonels Lena mare Lenas Little Hustler.

TRR Big Hustler Pedigree

“Kid Rock hasn’t messed up,” Eaves said. “The mistakes I’ve made weren’t due to him. That steer was really good, and I knew I’d be around him. I was wanting to be a little farther down the arena, so I was focusing on that. I was just trying to be around him a little more. The first night and third night I got a bad go and didn’t leave when I wanted to. The last two nights I got gone when I wanted to, I just didn’t get far enough down.”

Rogers and Eaves are 10th in the PRCA world standings with $160,360 and $160,711 won, respectively. They are 15th in the average with a 17.70 on three, giving them the chance to go at the rounds for the rest of the week.

Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins’ 3.6-second run moved them to 31.60 on six head and first in the average and second and third in the world, respectively, with $210,531 in earnings each. If the Finals ended today and average money were calculated into the standings, Ward and Hawkins would be the 2023 PRCA World Champions. At present, Clint Summers and Jake Long lead the standings, but they’re ninth in the average with a time of 20.40 on four and out of the money at this time.

2023 NFR Round 6 Team Roping Results:

Team SteerTimePayoutPlacing
Dustin Egusquiza / Levi Lord143.621,2962/3
Nelson Wyatt / Jonathan Torres515.2+ 10
Derrick Begay / Colter Todd493.9+5 
Kaleb Driggers / Junior Nogueira 553.949526
Tyler Wade / Wesley Thorp394.2+5
Luke Brown / Hunter Koch603.7128764
Jake Clay / Tyler Worley484.6+5
Marcus Theriot / Cole Curry114.5
Clay Smith / Paden Bray543.879245
Clint Summers / Jake Long583.7+5
Andrew Ward / Buddy Hawkins193.621,2962/3
Tanner Tomlinson / Patrick Smith504.1
Erich Rogers / Paul Eaves453.5307061
Rhen Richard / Jeremy Buhler595.2
Coleman Proctor / Logan Medlin184.0

— TRJ —

Nightly round coverage from the 2023 Wrangler NFR is made possible with the support of our sponsors at Resistol.

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