Daniel Aylward: What horses will you be riding this year?
My steer horse is called Elmer, and now that I"m heading I"m riding T-Bone who I got from Tee Woolman. I had been heeling on a mare named Tinkerbell, but she needed colon surgery, which is a big reason I'm going back to heading. Elmer is 16, and T-Bone is 15 or 16. Elmer is just easy to ride and stays out of your way and lets you win. I got him from Chris Glover in Keenesburg, Colo., and he's let me ride the horse in years before. I would just fly in and get on him. He"s super easy and anyone can ride him. T-Bone is terrible in the box, he"s definitely a problem horse. Sometimes you"ve got to have him led into the box, but he"s one of the best horses I"ve ever ridden in the field. If you can get by him in the box, and just wait on him to be ready, he's amazing, and that's worth it for me. Tinkerbell is an 8-year-old buckskin mare, and she"s outstanding. You can go fast or just go catch or do whatever you want to do on her. She needed surgery because something calcified in there, and formed a really a nasty looking stone. It was the size of an ostrich egg in her colon, and she was bloated and miserable. Dr. Brock in Lamesa Texas, and Brock Veterinary Clinic saved her life.
Tom Taylor: What happened with your partnership heeling for BJ Campbell?
It was the control factor of not being in control of the situation.
Heading, you pick your pace for your team. You want to go fast or just go out there and catch, you can do whatever you want to do. The heeling part of it, I didn"t like not being in control. Once you"ve started heading and you are in control of y oru run, you decide the fate of the team. You are like the quarterback. You either pass the ball or hand it off, but you get to decide.
Brian Koliski: What's your partnership with Russell Cardoza like?
Russell and I haven"t run a steer together yet. We're starting at Austin. I don"t see any way that could go bad. That guy is a cowboy and he ropes great. He"s got a lot of try.
Jade Schmidt: How are you able to snap it on the horns from so far back and consistently?
Whenever I started heading, I never had a very good horse. I just had a bunch of old junkers pretty much that were duckers or couldn"t run much. That was the only option I had: to learn how to win on those horses. I'd have five or six tied to the fence and just rope all day and learn to reach. I studied Speed"s tapes and Jake Barnes" tapes, and I watched what made them different from everyone else, and tried to pattern myself off of that. I'd watch the guys at the jackpots and the rodeos and see who was winning and what they were doing. I took what I needed from each guy and tried to build what I have, which ain"t much, but I"m just self-taught and that"s the way I taught myself how to head.
Will Roberts: Now that you've won the steer roping at San Antonio, what's your plan for the tripping in 2013?
I"m going to go all year. I"m buying some other horses right now. Sonny Silva, a great bit and spur maker here in Andrews, he"s lending me his horses, and with the lead I"ve got right now, it gives a guy a gap to decide whether he wants to rodeo full time all year. I think I"ve got the opportunity to do something great in the steer roping this year and go all year. Everywhere there is a steer roping, I'm going to be entered.