At the end of the Fourth of July, the sleepless nights and thousands of miles traveled prove worth it when the Cowboy Christmas checks hit the bank accounts. Particularly for team roping’s top earners Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord.
Egusquiza and Lord raked in $25,263 a man over Cowboy Christmas to bump them both to No. 2 in the world standings with $85,156.12 won on the year. The Florida and South Dakota natives had their sights set on coming out the top money earners and accomplished that goal—with placings nearly everywhere from starting the run with a strong showing at Prescott, Arizona’s World’s Oldest Rodeo to finishing the week with a win in Basin City, Washington.
This is Lord’s best Fourth run to date, but Egusquiza’s been in this position before. In 2021, the five-time NFR header and Travis Graves broke the Cowboy Christmas team roping record with $30,465. When reigning world champs Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira broke that record in 2022, Egusquiza decided he wanted to go for it again.
“That’s kind of what I told Levi, that was my goal,” Egusquiza, 27, said. “I wanted to get over $35,000; I wanted to get the record back. Then we started good at Prescott and Oakley, and then I waved it off the second one at St. Paul to be looking really, really good. We would’ve dang near had $20,000 won after the first three.”
Despite waving it off in St. Paul, Oregon, Egusquiza and Lord had a nice foundation built after cashing in $4,999 a man on borrowed horses in Prescott and $3,973 at the Oakley (Utah) Independence Day Rodeo. And that gave them a solid mental game to go back to when things hit a slow spot.
“We weren’t really struggling ever, it didn’t seem like,” Lord, 27, said. “Getting off to a good start to where we knew we were probably going to win somewhere around $10,000 at those first two rodeos was pretty nice for us mentally. So, then we could just go to the one-headers and try to be aggressive. And then once we started making a couple good runs, it just seemed like Mandan, Livingston and now [Basin City] just all fell into place pretty easily.”
Fell into place they did. Egusquiza and Lord finished first at the Livingston (Montana) Roundup Rodeo, Mandan (North Dakota) Rodeo days and Basin City to put together the richest Cowboy Christmas team roping run this year.
Their big payday and standings boost isn’t causing them to back down, though. The team plans to stay hot on the road, hitting that 75-rodeo mark at the end of the year with the goal of going into the NFR No. 1.
“The main objective for everyone is to go in number one, that’s what we talk about,” Egusquiza explained. “We want to go in number one, and we want to win as much as we can and have a lead going into the NFR. So, we’re not going to skip any rodeos or anything like that, making the trail easier. We’re still going to go to 75 and try to give ourselves the best chance we can to go in number one and have the best chance at the gold buckle.”
Top 3 Money Earning Teams
Dustin Egusquiza & Levi Lord – $25,263.00
- World’s Oldest Rodeo (Prescott, AZ), First Round, Second Place: 6.1 seconds, $2,739 each
- World’s Oldest Rodeo (Prescott, AZ), Average, Fifth Place: 13.9 seconds on two head, $2,260 each
- Oakley Independence Day Rodeo, Third Place: 4.3 seconds, $3,973 each
- St. Paul Rodeo, First Round, Fourth Place: 4.7 seconds, $2,244 each
- Livingston Roundup Rodeo, First Place: 3.9 seconds, $5,397 each
- Mandan Rodeo Days, First Place: 3.8 seconds, $4,315 each
- Basin City Freedom Rodeo, First Place: 4.8 seconds, $4,335 each
Tanner Tomlinson & Patrick Smith – $24,422.00
- World’s Oldest Rodeo (Prescott, AZ), First Round, Seventh Place: 6.9 seconds, $479 each
- World’s Oldest Rodeo (Prescott, AZ), Second Round, Fifth Place: 6.5 seconds, $1,507 each
- World’s Oldest Rodeo (Prescott, AZ), Average, Fourth Place: 13.4 seconds on two head, $2,876 each
- St. Paul Rodeo, Second Round, Sixth Place: 4.7 seconds, $1,436 each
- St. Paul Rodeo, Average, Seventh Place: 14.8 seconds on two head, $1,347 each
- Oakley Independence Day Rodeo, Sixth Place: 5.1 seconds, $2,528 each
- Cody Stampede, First Place: 4.6 seconds, $7,332 each
- Black Hills Roundup, Seventh Place: 4.5 seconds, $2,162 each
- Livingston Roundup Rodeo, Seventh Place: 4.4 seconds, $2,339 each
- Mandan Rodeo Days, Fifth Place: 4.3 seconds, $2,157 each
- Killdeer Mountain Roundup PRCA Rodeo, Twelfth Place: 5.2 seconds, $259 each
Dawson Graham & Dillon Graham – $20,387.00
- Greeley Stampede, First Round, Second Place: 4.5 seconds, $3,147 each
- Ponoka Stampede, First Round, Third Place: 5.6 seconds, $3,426 each
- Ponoka Stampede, Finals, (tie) Third Place: 5.9 seconds, $750 each
- Ponoka Stampede, Average, First Place: 17.8 seconds on three head, $6,953 each
- Oakley Independence Day Rodeo, Ninth Place: 5.2 seconds, $1,517 each
- Williams Lake Stampede (British Columbia), Fourth Place: 6.1 seconds, $2,761 each
- Cody Stampede, Tenth Place: 5.3 seconds, $1,833 each
Catch more updates here at The Team Roping Journal as the Fourth-of-July run keeps rolling. Our coverage of the ProRodeo world standings is presented all year by CSI Saddlepads: Custom designed saddle pads, made for you and for the horse. Manufactured in the U.S.A.