Nelson Wyatt Leads WCRA Corpus Christi Field by a Hefty Margin

How has header Nelson Wyatt rounded up nearly double the points of the nearest competitor on the Corpus Christi leaderboard?

Hailing from Stephenville, Texas, 29-year-old header Nelson Wyatt has nearly double the amount of points as the next-closest competitor as he ties up a World Champions Rodeo Alliance Rodeo Corpus Christi qualification.

Taking place May 10–13, 2023, Rodeo Corpus Christi is set to pay out $550,000 to competitors and is the first leg of the WCRA’s Triple Crown—an annual bonus that awards $1 million to any competitor who wins three consecutive Triple Crown events.

Wyatt’s been nominating to the WCRA since 2021 and has developed a rhythm of nominating where he’ll get some bang for his buck. As a result, he currently boasts 5,150.75 points, and has distanced himself from the No. 2 Rodeo Corpus Christi header Andrew Ward, who has 2,856.5 points.

“I haven’t nominated all that much stuff,” Wyatt said of his strategy. “I’ve just done well where I nominated. The things I nominated were some bigger spots, too; they were the WCRA’s highest bracket of events. I nominated the [Texas] circuit finals last year, the WCRA Finals in Fort Worth over Christmas, and I nominated Houston the other day and did good there.”

Despite Wyatt’s nonchalant attitude, he’s done more than “good.” He won the 2022 Texas Circuit Finals in Waco, Texas, with Tyler Worley on the heels, the 2022 WCRA Cowtown Christmas with partner Buddy Hawkins and finished second at RodeoHouston 2023 with Justin Davis, worth $20,000.

With his consistent success, Wyatt is currently sitting second in 2023 PRCA ProRodeo heading standings with $61,555 earned on the season.

Sweetening the pot with the WCRA and VRQ Bonus

“I like the WCRA stuff because it’s close,” Wyatt said of the location of the WCRA’s featured events. “Corpus is close, and any rodeo that pays like they do is worth trying to go to. Now they have the year-end money, too.”

In 2022, the WCRA’s year-end VRQ Bonus, which is sponsored by Reliance Ranches, paid an additional $25,000 to reigning champion header Kaleb Driggers—with Wyatt in second place. This year, Wyatt is also leading the VRQ Bonus Leaderboard with 3,243.75 points.

Nelson Wyatt’s horsepower and preparing for Corpus

Wyatt’s horsepower is Playgun-bred gelding LR Gatlin, who was foaled in 2009.

“I’ve pretty much been sticking with him over the last few years,” Wyatt said. “He’s pretty fast-footed, and he faces really good. He tries to go to the cow and likes to help me win.”

Wyatt says he hasn’t been changing much ahead of Corpus Christi—which he’ll be competing in with partner Jade Corkill—but he must tackle the spring run of California ProRodeos first. The longer setups out West means he’ll have dial it back in for the small arena inside the American Bank Center, but Wyatt isn’t concerned about the adjustment.

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