Three-time World Champions Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill had already had a dominant week at The Daddy of ‘Em All by the time they backed into the box last out in the sudden-death short round Sunday, July 31.
With $7,200 per man already pocketed and two handy 8.3-second runs in the lead by Erich Rogers and Paden Bray and Chad Masters and Paul Eaves, Tryan and Corkill won their second Cheyenne Frontier Days title together with a 7.5-second run worth $9,200 a man. It’s Corkill’s fourth title at the legendary long-score rodeo, more than any team roper in the event’s history. Trevor Brazile and Jim Shoulders each have four all-around titles at Cheyenne, while 1930s saddle bronc rider Earl Thode won four in that event. Shoat Webster won four in the steer roping, and Kristie Peterson won four in the barrel racing.
“I never would have thought that,” Corkill, 34, of Fallon, Nevada, said. “I’ve had pretty good luck here. I’ve done good every format. The first time I won it, it was two and a short. Then it was the top 30 went in the perfs and it was two and a short. Then I didn’t do good for a long time, and then last year, me and Clay (Smith) won it last year with a little different format. But I’ve drawn good when I needed to.”
“No… No…,” Tryan chimed in, shaking his head and laughing. “He knows what he’s doing and it’s not luck. I’m not going to say how he does it, but it’s not just luck.”
‘Not Just Luck’
With those tough 8.3-second runs on the board, Tryan and Corkill—who never, ever talk about their runs before they rope—knew they wanted to try to win the rodeo.
“For me, it’s easier to head coming in,” Tryan, 43, of Billings, Montana, said. “I kind of was not getting a very good go at the first couple. It was kind of slow, and I was coasting to the line. Today, I don’t think I did it like that. I gave my horse a better chance, and I felt like he ran harder today. I was glad those teams in front of us caught, because sometimes you get caught in between not knowing if you should catch for easy money but it was to the point if we were too slow we wouldn’t win much anyway.”
Corkill made his mind up, too, to take a different start.
“On the other ones I tried to see him out there a little ways so he didn’t go left, and I was trying to ease up there with him as he was getting there and it felt like I was off the pace of the run from what I was wanting to feel,” Corkill explained. “So today I scored with him and went hard with him so when we got there we were going the same speed and could make a normal run. I was with him—the teams that made a good run in front of us, it feels weird here. You don’t know where you are–it’s hard to tell if you need to take another swing or if you’ll be too long or if you’ll be 8. I’ve never been 7 here until this year—I was 7 the other day and 7 today.”
World Standings’ Perspective
Going into Cheyenne, Tryan and Corkill had $110,093.81 and $76,285.91 won, respectively. They picked up $16,400 a man at the Daddy of ‘Em All, enough for Tryan, at No. 2 in the world, to sneak closer to Kaleb Driggers’ massive mid-summer lead. Corkill was fourth coming into Cheyenne, but he’ll likely creep up higher when Cheyenne’s money is added in Monday morning. This summer’s earnings also put Tryan over the $3-million in career earnings mark—surpassing Clay O’Brien Cooper and Rich Skelton.
“Everybody ropes so good nowadays,” Tryan, who also won RodeoHouston this year with Jake Long, said. “It’s not just 15 guys. It’s the whole field. You can get to where you draw good and it feels easy, but you get on the other end of it and it feels impossible. Winning at the right spots, which I’ve done this year, is the key. In the last years, I’ve been terrible at the big stuff and that doesn’t add up like the other stuff.”
Tryan has been to 38 rodeos so far in 2022, while Corkill has only been to 25.
Corkill first won Cheyenne in 2009 with Masters, that time aboard IceCube, the great, grade sorrel outlaw gelding that first put Corkill on the map. In 2013, he and Tryan won it to buoy their partnership and catapult them to the NFR, winning their first gold buckle together six months later. Corkill rode Caveman, the bay gelding that had won the PRCA/AQHA Horse of the Year the year prior. In 2021, Corkill rode his sorrel gelding Huey to win it with Clay Smith. He rode Champ—the 17-year-old gray that Clay Cooper made registered as Sixes Posse—for this win.
“Clay spends a lot of time with them,” Corkill said. “What he told me about that horse is exactly what he is. He knew literally everything about him. I text him out of the blue on the way to Salinas, and I asked if he wanted to sell him, and he text me back and said ‘Yup.’ I ran four steers on him at Andy Holcomb’s house, and that was enough for me.”
Tryan’s first title came aboard Dew, the bay phenom that made up the middle run of his career and won a Horse of the Year title in 2015. He opted to ride Johnson, the sorrel gelding he got from Trey Johnson that he’s ridden the last six years. Tryan’s been riding a mare he calls JLo much of 2022, but he wanted to try Johnson out for most of this year’s Cheyenne challenge.
“I never really rode him here for some reason,” Tryan said. “I rode him on one steer a long time ago, and he felt good. Sometimes you wake up and make a decision, and that’s what I decided.”
1, Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 7.5 seconds, $9,200.
2, (tie) Erich Rogers, Round Rock, Ariz., and Paden Bray, Stephenville, Texas, and Chad Masters, Cedar Hill, Tenn., 8.3, $7,400.
4, Rhett Anderson, Annabella, Utah, and Max Kuttler, American Falls, Idaho, 8.7, $5,600.
5, Garrett Rogers, Baker City, Ore., and Justin Davis, Cottonwood, Cali., 9.6, $4,400.
6, Brayden Parker, and Dustin Searcy, Scottsdale, Ariz., 9.9, $3,200.
7, Paul David Tierney, Oklahoma City, and Tanner Braden, Dewey, Okla., 10.2, $2,000.