Turn it Around: The 2023 NFR Round 4 Cheat Sheet
Two-time World Champion Matt Sherwood breaks down the ins and outs of Round 3 of the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo team roping.
Andrew Ward turning a steer for Buddy Hawkins in the third round of the 2023 NFR.
Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins in Round 3. | Jamie Arviso Photo

Two-time World Champion Matt Sherwood breaks down the ins and outs of Round 3 of the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo team roping.

Luke Brown & Hunter Koch

Round 3: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: 0

World Standings Earnings: $107,752.47 both

Average: 12; 79.4/3

World Standings: 15; 15

Sherwood’s take: I felt bad again for Luke and Hunter. Luke turned the first two steers really good and Hunter got a leg both times. And then last night, I felt like Luke was a little bit off the barrier and a little bit more rope out there and it just came off. But that’s the kind of stuff that happens when you haven’t won anything, so you’re trying to force a go-round win or a check at least. I think they were far enough down, maybe 12th out last night, and legs would still place. I mean, miss the barrier, take one more swing and rope tight, and they still go 4.4 and win $6,000 or whatever it is, and kind of get themselves on a roll. Because it is hard here when you practice all week and you feel like this is easy. But you get here and you go two or three rounds, you haven’t won a thing, and you shouldn’t but it’s easy to kind of panic; we got to win. Just go make the best decisions on a steer that you have and take whatever you get.

Clay Smith & Paden Bray

Round 3: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $7,924

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

Average: 10; 69.7/3

World Standings: 14

Sherwood’s take: That was the hardest headshot I’ve ever seen. And you can’t fault Paden for not hazing him because if you try to haze and you cut left, you can’t really win anything to really be fast. The steer needs to stay straight or even fade a tiny bit to the right. For that steer to leave that sharp and cut in front of Paden, you just got to chalk that up as unlucky and come back and have a great chance.

Erich Rogers & Paul Eaves

Round 3: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: 0

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

Average: 15; 125.1/3

World Standings: 13; 11

Sherwood’s take: They missed last night, but I still feel like if Erich just does Erich Rogers and just ride and rope, his horse is so quick-footed, they’re going to be fast. Just slow down and make sure he gets the catch because they do so good after his head rope goes on so fast. So hopefully he can just go turn the rest of them.

Marcus Theriot & Cole Curry

Round 3: 3.9

Round Winnings: $18,325 

Total NFR Earnings: $20,801

World Standings Earnings: $132,964.66; $125,787.83

Average: 8; 68.4/3

World Standings: 12; 13

Sherwood’s take: Marcus, I’ve been so impressed by him. I know Marcus hickeyed a horn on the first one and that sucked, but I’ve been so impressed with how well both of those guys have done here. Marcus was aggressive on the barrier and on getting it on the steer, and Cole’s just patient out there and heeled really good. These steers are fresh, they’re not cleaning up great, but Cole’s done a great job. Both of them did a good job. 

Tanner Tomlinson & Patrick Smith

Round 3: 4.6+10

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $4,953

World Standings Earnings: $133,658.63 each

Average: 5; 28.9/3

World Standings: 11; 10

Sherwood’s take: Tanner broke the barrier and it’s just like, you have to get a good start if you want to be 3.8. I really feel like he turned 10 steers in a row last year and broke the average record, but it doesn’t always happen the same way every year. Stay aggressive. I would rather take eight great starts and break the barrier twice than be a little bit late 10 times. So you just have to be willing to accept greater than numbers. Just stay aggressive. If your steer leaves and runs like he should, you’re going to get out.

Jake Clay & Tyler Worley

Round 3: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $24,268

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

Average: 14; 124.3/3

World Standings: 10; 12

Sherwood’s take: That’s just such bad luck here. You probably throw a thousand loops and hickey the horn one time. So for him to do that here, people ask me sometimes it’s similar to when your loop comes around then waves off the right horn. What causes it is your loop hits just barely a little bit different from how it normally does and either waves off or the curl comes back around and you hickey a horn. I’m sure there’s things that you could do to not do it, but that’s just such bad luck at the NFR when you take time-time because of a hickey. Hopefully Jake just forgets about it and stays aggressive.

Derrick Begay & Colter Todd

Round 3: 4.1

Round Winnings: $7,924

Total NFR Earnings: $7,924

World Standings Earnings: $156,039.64; $171,206.84

Average: 1; 15.2/3

World Standings: 9;5

Sherwood’s take: It seemed like the last two runs, he’s kind of gotten a little bit of a messed up start. It’s like he’s almost anticipating the start, and it’s messing him up. But he did a good job of getting back and turning the steer. Colter got a little bit too close to the corner, I felt like, and had to go one more jump, but man, he heeled that steer amazing and he finished the run. 

Dustin Egusquiza & Levi Lord

Round 3: 4.2+10

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $7,924 

World Standings Earnings: $156,272.22 each

Average: 11; 78.6/3

World Standings: 8

Sherwood’s take: So Dustin broke the barrier. Dustin is the most talented guy with a rope maybe ever. Right now I feel like sometimes he goes so fast all year long that he feels like he has to still go that fast here. And I feel like if a person would just try to be 4.5 instead of 3.5, they would be 3.8 to 4.2, and that means so much here. The night before they placed and it felt like Levi passed it. So, I feel like it’s making Levi have to leave so soon and step the steers left. Where Dustin is so talented that I feel like if he would just slow down, he could have 10 world championships in a row. 

Rhen Richard & Jeremy Buhler

Round 3: 3.9+5+10

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $24,268 

World Standings Earnings: $157,751.92

Average: 6; 32.3/3

World Standings: 7

Sherwood’s take: I thought Jeremy maybe got a little bit tight through the corner. His horse has given him a bit of grief in the box, and I don’t know if that’s messing him up, but just stay out around that steer. Jeremy has so much range that if he’s a little far away, I think he’s way better off than being too close because he can rope him out there. And that horse is big and strong and finished good. Just stay off them just good enough that he can see them.

Andrew Ward & Buddy Hawkins

Round 3: 3.8

Round Winnings: $24,268

Total NFR Earnings: $42,593

World Standings Earnings: $167,357.97 each

Average: 2; 17.9/3

World Standings: 6

Sherwood’s take: Andrew and Buddy did an amazing job. The thing that impressed me about that run is how good Andrew’s horse finished. That’s a big horse, so you don’t think of him being quick-footed. But, man, he put that steer on the end of the rope, came back up the wall and finished. I felt like that was going to be a 4.1 or 4.2, but he had to get a flag fast because of how that horse finished so amazing.

Clint Summers & Jake Long

Round 3: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $61,412 

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

Average: 7; 68/3

World Standings: 5; 3

Sherwood’s take: It felt like to me, Clint got not quite as good a go as he had gotten the first two nights, so it made that shot just a little bit tougher. It’s so hard to do when you have maybe two tenths of a second to recognize, but saying, ‘Okay, I’m a little bit further away what do I need to change to make this catch?’ Or pull it down, ride your horse and go be 6 but stay in the average. With $30,000 a night, obviously you want to go for that, but if you can recognize when things aren’t right when you hit the barrier and maintain your spot in the average, or even would’ve moved up, if they would’ve ben 6, they would still be winning the average. The average is just so tough because you don’t have that long to think about where the steer’s at and what you need to be. 

Coleman Proctor & Logan Medlin

Round 3: 3.7 *Round 3 winners

Round Winnings: $30,706

Total NFR Earnings: $30,706

World Standings Earnings: $174,193.83 each

Average: 13; 123.7/3

World Standings: 4

Sherwood’s take: I thought it was impressive for Coleeman to come out firing after having trouble in the box. When everything’s tough in the box and the steer’s fighting in the chute, to come out and win the round is impressive. And for logan to sit there patient and also come out firing is very impressive, too. I have no critique becaue that was almost a perfect run by both of them, especially after the first two runs they had.

Tyler Wade & Wesley Thorp

Round 3: 4.0

Round Winnings: $12,877

Total NFR Earnings: $12,877

World Standings Earnings: $177,802.57; $195,029.84

Average: 4; 23.7/3

World Standings: 3; 1

Sherwood’s take: I thought that was an amazing job by Wesley. Tyler kind of didn’t get as clean of a start as I think he’s used to—he kind of had to pull a little bit. He ended up getting the neck, but TWade still did an amazing job of just keeping his composure, getting out in front of that steer and that steer never whipped. He handled just as good as if he roped him by the horns. It took a little longer, Wesley almost started in, but Wesley did such a good job of just waiting, waiting, waiting, and then still being able to heel that steer first jump.

Nelson Wyatt & Jonathan Torres

Round 3: 4.2+5

Round Winnings: $4,953

Total NFR Earnings: $33,431

World Standings Earnings: $188,513.57; $138,339.39

Average: 3; 18.1/3

World Standings: 1; 9

Sherwood’s take: I think the same thing about Nelson at the barrier a little bit (as Derrick). He got a little bit of a messed up go like he’s anticipating going before his nod. So it messed him up. And then other than that, he’s turned all three steers amazing. I feel like if he would come back up the arena a little bit, just like Andrew did a little bit, it’ll help Jonathan be able to heel those steers. Just get that steer’s head better and help get two feet.

Kaleb Driggers & Junior  Nogueira

Round 3: NT

Round Winnings: 0

Total NFR Earnings: $18,077

World Standings Earnings: $188,221.68 each

Average: 9; 69.1

World Standings: 2

Sherwood’s take: Junior didn’t heel that steer quite as aggressive as how you expect Junior to heel on the first jump. That steer was big last night and his hops were so slow that he didn’t clear the ground like Junior thought he would—he just stayed in the ground when he thought he was going to come up. But I really felt like he could have wheeled that steer the jump before so easy. So I don’t what’s happening to make him not heel those steers in the first jump like he normally does.

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