Futrell Makes Minor Changes to Surge Into ProRodeo’s Final 2020 Push - The Team Roping Journal

Resistol Rookie Heeling Update: 

Clay Futrell, 21, is currently sitting 22nd in the PRCA world standings and is leading the Resistol Rookie heeling standings with $30,723.75 with the help of his 12-year-old heel horse, Cutter.

With a minimum practice schedule, Futrell has been working on getting his horse in a better position going down the arena to help maximize every steer he runs. 

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"I wasn't getting far enough down the pen," Futrell said. "I was getting caught too much to the inside. Besides that I've been getting a better spot going down the arena. That's the only thing that's helped a lot. I was in a good spot all summer, but a couple times that I've missed is because I was too far to the inside or couldn't get far enough down the pen. I just loosened everything up. Every time I've messed up I felt myself getting tensed up and too tight—trying too hard. I just relaxed and kept it simple and try and get in the best spot possible."

Futrell changed up the bit he rides on Cutter to keep him running down the pen instead of anticipating any pull that Futrell might accidentally cue.

Clay Futrell swapped out his Tommy Blessing Curb Chain bit for a smooth-port. 

Clay Futrell swapped out his Tommy Blessing Curb Chain bit for a smooth-port. 

"I changed my bit to something that is pretty much nothing to where if I pull he's almost numb to it," Futrell said. "I had a Blessing that I was riding him in most of the time. He doesn't feel near as good riding around because he is almost numb to it a little bit. He's so cowy that you can't run him by the steer. I just thought that I needed something on him so that he's just wide-open down the arena because he's going to turn in. Every time we mess up it's hardly ever him. It's mostly something that I'm doing to cause us to mess up."

The long hauls also cause Cutter to get tight when he steps off the trailer, but Futrell insures that he's taking precautions to keep Cutter safe and sound on the road.

"He'll get a little tight on long hauls, but I put him on Equinoxx and he stays good," Futrell said. "When he gets tight it just takes him a little longer to warm-up just to get him back loose."

Who's Resistol Rookie Heeling Standings Leader Clay Futrell?

Futrell and partner Cory Kidd V added $3,233 to each of their earnings after making their personal fastest run of the year in 3.8 seconds at the Golden Spike Rodeo in Tremonton, Utah, during the weekend of Aug. 26 through Aug. 30, even though Futrell didn't get a wide go like he's been working on.

"It happened fast that's for sure," Futrell said. "We drew a great steer. He stayed straight and didn't run. He was just medium. Cory nailed the barrier and had it on him in two swings. It was a shot where you had to take it. I was a little too much to the inside, but I still had to take it if we were going to have a chance to win really good and it worked out."

Futrell, who won the 2019 RAM Rodeo Permit Heeling, has unofficially won the Resistol Rookie of the Year Heeling Title and is striving to finish the season in the top 15 of the PRCA world standings.

"That was one of my big goals and something that I've always wanted to do since I won the permit deal last year," Futrell said. "Winning the rookie deal was the next thing that I wanted to do, so it does feel really good. I'm still just trying to focus on the other stuff also and not get caught up looking at that."

Resistol Rookie Heeling Standings:

  1. Clay Futrell, $30,723.75
  2. Zak Dobbins, $7,047.87
  3. Eddie Medina, $5,677.60
  4. Tanner McInerney, $4,616.11
  5. Jared Fillmore, $3,583.05
  6. Blaine Courson, $3,313.29
  7. Bradley Johnson, $3,175.30
  8. Abdiel Zamora, $2,246.17
  9. Joshua Smitherman, $2,246.15
  10. Jake Beard, $1,733.25

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