Heating Up: The 2023 NFR Round 3 Cheat Sheet
Three-time NFR qualifier and 2018 NFR average champ Trey Yates breaks down Round 2 of the 2023 NFR.
Rhen Richard turning a steer for Jeremy Buhler in the second round of the 2023 NFR.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2 saw faster times, repeat champs and more times on the leaderboard. Before Round 3 kicks off, we tapped Trey Yates, 2018 NFR average champ and three-time NFR qualifier, for his analysis on Round 2.

Luke Brown & Hunter Koch

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.1+5

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: 0

World Standings Earnings: $107,752.47 both

Average: 9; 19.4/2

World Standings: 15; 14

Yates’ take: Luke got a good start and headed the cow like he always does there, and Hunter took an aggressive shot but didn’t get far enough down the arena to let his tip get through that inside leg. Hunter is amazing with his heel rope and has two really good horses. Luke is a veteran and I could see Luke turning all 10 and Hunter getting tapped off and winning a lot of money this week.

Marcus Theriot & Cole Curry

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.5

Round Winnings: $2,476

Total NFR Earnings: $2,476

World Standings Earnings: $114,639.55; $107,463.04

Average: 13; 4.5/1

World Standings: 14; 15

Yates’ take: Marcus slid a little rope I think that put them from 4.3 to 4.6, but Cole Curry heeled. He did a good job getting in the right spot and keeping power on his rope and driving his bottom strand to the ground. 

Clay Smith & Paden Bray

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.9

Round Winnings: $7,924

Total NFR Earnings: $7,924

World Standings Earnings: $121,078.54; $116,479.85

Average: 4; 9.7/2

World Standings: 13

Yates’ take: Steer looked like he was a step to the right and took a long hop from Paden and it pulled it away from him a little. They’re in good shape. Clay Smith has the three-swing deal good. The horse is staying free but he’s coming back strong which could be very crucial at the end of the week.

Erich Rogers & Paul Eaves

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 5.1

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: 0

World Standings Earnings: $129,653.63; $130,004.95

Average: 14; 5.1/1

World Standings: 12; 11

Yates’ take: Erich roped a neck, and Paul got all the way around there and made a tough shot. Erich Rogers turns a lot of steers for a lot of money there and will find a rhythm. They’re a big threat in the day money especially going out in the first round.

Tanner Tomlinson & Patrick Smith

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.1+5

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $4,953

World Standings Earnings: $133,658.63 each

Average: 8; 14.3/2

World Standings: 11/9

Yates’ take: Tanner is one-two at the mouth of the box. Last night he really picked up after taking three swings to put them at the middle of the arena, maybe the steer drifted just a hair and Patrick just roped a leg. I think 9/10 they’re straight up on that particular run. Tanner has proven he’s very comfortable with the setup. 

Jake Clay & Tyler Worley

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $24,268

World Standings Earnings: $134,395.18; $128,251.14

Average: 11; 4.3/1

World Standings: 10; 12

Yates’ take: I think he’s the silent assassin this week and got two very good starts. He hickeyed a horn last night which was just bad luck. Worley is a very positive thinker and heels amazing. Sun is staying free for Jake, and if he can keep getting those two same starts and not press too hard, I foresee them winning a lot of money and coming back placing in the average. I wouldn’t be surprised if they won two or three go-rounds.

Andrew Ward & Buddy Hawkins

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.0

Round Winnings: $18,325.00 

Total NFR Earnings: $18,325.00 

World Standings Earnings: $143,090.00 each

Average: 7; 14.1/2

World Standings: 9/8

Yates’ take: That was nasty heading last night. The first one looked like the steer broke in the right lead and maybe that horse was quick and Buddy had a tough go. Andrew nailed the barrier, Buddy got one over his back and it was a tight sharp run. 

Coleman Proctor & Logan Medlin

Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: 0

World Standings Earnings: $143,487.42 each

Average: 15; 0/2

World Standings: 8; 7

Yates’ take: Coleman got a neck the first night and the steer was a step to the right and wasn’t the easiest go for Logan. They haven’t found their run there yet but they’re good for three or four go-rounds a year, and when Coleman is tapped off on Heisman in that building, it’s nothing nice. No matter what horse Logan rides the rest of the week, he’s got two of the best heel horses in the business and I expect them to win a lot of money. 

Derrick Begay & Colter Todd

Derrick Begay heading a steer in Round 2 of the 2023 NFR.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.8

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: 0

World Standings Earnings: $148,115.41; $163,282.61

Average: 5; 11.1/2

World Standings: 7; 4

Yates’ take: Colter did a really good job last night. Begay was late, missed his slack and got a neck. What could have been a really tough run, Colter, the cowboy came out in him and he salvaged a great run. They’re clean on two, which is important even this early. Begay can coast to the barrier and catch them on a short rope, and I look for them to really speed up. They were good at winning first everywhere they went this summer. 

Dustin Egusquiza & Levi Lord

Levi Lord heeling a steer in Round 2 of the 2023 NFR.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.4

Round Winnings: $7,924 

Total NFR Earnings: $7,924 

World Standings Earnings: $156,272.22

Average: 12; 4.4/1

World Standings: 6

Yates’ take: Dustin brought the smoke on the first one like he does, and it didn’t work. The second one, that was a tough cow that went left. They made a really good run for that steer and they’ll be good for three or four rounds. Levi is one of the most disciplined heelers, and he puts a lot of loop on the ground, which is very important for a guy who heads them as fast as Dustin.

Rhen Richard & Jeremy Buhler

Rhen Richard turning a steer for Jeremy Buhler in the second round of the 2023 NFR.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 3.9

Round Winnings: $24,268 

Total NFR Earnings: $24,268 

World Standings Earnings: $157,751.92

Average: 6; 13.4/2

World Standings: 5

Yates’ take: Rhen headed that steer aggressive, and Buhler was all the way around him. It looks like they can be 3.9 to 4.4 every night making the same run. That was their run and they look comfortable. Rhen’s horse let him step up after he headed the steer and was strong coming back. 

Tyler Wade & Wesley Thorp

Wesley Thorp heeling a steer by two feed in Round 2 of the 2023 NFR.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 3.5+10

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: 0

World Standings Earnings: $164,925.69; $182,152.96

Average: 10; 19.7/2

World Standings: 4; 3

Yates’ take:They did a great job salvaging the run that first night. Obviously something in his mind wasn’t right with that first shot he’d usually take. With the spot they’re in, the average is important. He saw his start, and it was hard to tell as fast as he headed him, but maybe that steer didn’t start like the rest of them. He just clipped the barrier, which is easy to do. Wesley Thorp never misses and TWade spins a lot of them fast there so I look for big things from that team. 

Clint Summers & Jake Long

Jake Long heeling a steer to win Round 2 of the 2023 NFR.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 3.8 *Round 2 winners

Round Winnings: $30,706 

Total NFR Earnings: $61,412 

World Standings Earnings: $171,935.15; $185,436.39

Average: 1; 8.0/2

World Standings: 3; 2

Yates’ take: He’s a man on a mission. He’s breaking to the pin, hitting those steers at the right angle where Transmission is staying just free enough to put them on the end of it. It’s two pretty good goes and the horse is pulling him good and opened him up. The results are showing. Jake Long is getting all the way to the end of it, and it looks like they’ve found a sweet spot run after the first two.

Nelson Wyatt & Jonathan Torres

Nelson Wyatt throwing his rope at a steer in Round 2 of the 2023 NFR.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.3

Round Winnings: $12,877

Total NFR Earnings: $28,478 

World Standings Earnings: $183,560.92; $133,386.74

Average: 2; 8.9/2

World Standings: 2; 10

Yates’ take: Nelson scored really good and roped the horns really sharp. It looks like he’s in sync with the yellow. I think Jonathan heels really well on that sorrel horse; he looks very comfortable. There’s no rush or wasted motion on their runs. If they get on the better end of the steers I see them winning second or better in the day moneys, too. 

Kaleb Driggers & Junior  Nogueira

Kaleb Driggers turning a steer for Junior Nogueira.
Jamie Arviso Photo

Round 2: 4.5

Round Winnings: $2,476

Total NFR Earnings: $18,077

World Standings Earnings: $188,221.68 each

Average: 3; 9.1/2

World Standings: 1

Yates’ take: It looks like Kaleb shortened his spoke up and it’s got his tip down a little bit more and it’s really getting tight around the horns. The steers they’ve drawn up to this point weren’t as good as they made them look. Junior did a really good job last night. That first hop wasn’t real pure, and he put the blocker down there. Kaleb thought his horse dropped a little bit but he freed him up and it looked like it has the last two years, smooth as silk. They’re in a rhythm, and if they needed to speed up it wouldn’t take much. They look the same as the last couple years—it looks easy.

Related Articles
March_24_2023_NFR_R05_TR_Tyler Wade_Wesley Thorp_HRae_002
Standing on Business
Forged From the Fire of Humble Beginnings
Feb_24_2023_NFR_R09_TR_Tyler Wade_Wesley Thorp_HRae_009
Dear Roper
Here's to More in '24: An Inside Look at the February 2024 Issue
Tyler Wade team roping
a look back
Five of Our Favorite Moments from the 2023 NFR
R8 Wade Thorp Action Photos-9
who's winning?
Final: 2023 NFR Team Roping Results
Tyler Wade Wesley Thorp
the champs
2023 World Champs Tyler Wade and Wesley Thorp, and Average Champs Derrick Begay and Colter Todd