Perennial contenders Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill and Coleman Proctor and Logan Medlin had yet to strike in the day money at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo’s halfway point, but that changed on Dec. 5 when both teams anted up with 3.8-second runs, worth $25,882.42 a man.
Their win came on a rough night of team roping, when seven teams—including standings leaders Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira—took a no-time. Nogueira’s horse stepped in his loop on a run farther down the arena than normal.
Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves‘ 3.9-second run kicked off the round, followed by average leaders Tanner Tomlinson and Patrick Smith’s steady 4.9-second run. They drew the steer that Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins had been 4.3 on in Round 2.
“This was something we were looking for all week,” said Proctor, 37, of Pryor, Oklahoma. “All those long days of practice, filming it. Going to bed sore and waking up tired. It all comes together and it’s all worth it for a night to celebrate like tonight.”
Two teams later, Tryan and Corkill tied their 3.8-second mark.
“Everybody is going at them,” said Tryan, 43, of Billings, Montana. “I knew we’d have a good shot. I didn’t know we’d be 3—you never really plan out to be 3—but I’d imagine every round from here on out you’ll have to be. Everybody’s going at ’em now. When it’s like that, somebody will connect.”
“It seemed like he got a good start, and you could just as easily win fifth with a 3.8,” said Corkill, 35, of Fallon, Nevada. “So I’m not trying to do anything but go as fast as I can right now. But it seemed like we closed in on them at the same time and it seemed good. We felt like we must have got a good finished because, as soon as I looked back, the clock was already stopping. It felt like a good smooth run that we could make again.”
Predictably, Proctor rode his long-time NFR head horse Heisman, the 2008 gelding registered as SCR Sporties Playgun by Playgun and out of Haidas Sportie by Haidas Little Pep.
“He’s always my go-to,” Proctor said. “It gives me such confidence knowing what I’m going to ride, knowing how to prepare him. In 2019, I didn’t do a very good job. I had him a little too sharp. I couldn’t keep it on the horns. He was too quick. Knowing how to prepare him now, and knowing how confident I am on him, it’s made a huge difference.”
Medlin, however, had made a major change in the previous round that paid off in Round 5. He got off his two-time AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year Drago to hop on a 6-year-old gelding named TRR Freckles Holidoc by Pepcid out of SR Pretty Playboy by Playboy Lena Bar, off the Tongue River Ranch.
“It was not an easy decision,” Medlin, 31, of Tatum, New Mexico, said. “That horse is where I started. I owe everything to that horse. He’s been a little bit sore this fall, and Dr. Dorris at Stephenville Equine has done a great job to where I thought we could give him a go out here. I rode him the first three nights, and he wasn’t crippled or sore but he just wasn’t him. And it cost us some money a couple times. It’s hard to get off of the horse you’ve rode as much as I have him. But I’ve got full confident in this 6-year-old I have that I’ve made. I got him from the Tongue River, and I love the horse. He’s green and he might make a mistake every now and then, but he’s electric. He makes things come tight and he makes things happen, and it showed tonight.”
Tryan has been on a new 10-year-old, Montana-made gelding he calls Brownie, all week, and he connected for his first go-round win on the horse in Round 5.
“I’ve owned him two months,” Tryan said. “I bought him in Montana. He’s done really good. This is the first rodeo I’ve really rode him at. He’s kid’s horse acting. He’s like a pet. He’s weirdly calm. He’s got a little different feel. I didn’t see our run, but it felt like he finished good. I haven’t had a horse in a long time that would pull and face good here. I actually didn’t think he would do it. I roped so much on him getting ready for this that he didn’t really want to do it at the beginning this week. I don’t think he’d really been in this set up. I had to build a fence, and I made a ton of runs. I rode him like a practice horse. I rode him 30 days in a row. I don’t think I’ve ever done that. He just got better and better and better. I felt like he needed it to get ready for here.”
Corkill was on Champ, 17-year-old registered as Sixes Posse.
World Standings Race
Driggers and Nogueira remain first in the World Standings race by record margins, even after the stumble in Round 5. Tryan gained $25,882.42 on Driggers to close the gap to $71,089.61, while Nogueira leads No. 2 Smith by $93,927.69.
“Those guys would have to fall off,” Tryan laughed. “They’re not going to fall off. Today was weird.”
“I mean I want to win it more than anything, but it would be a weird feeling to win it because those guys have kicked ass all year,” Corkill chimed in. “They had double what I had coming in here. For the way those guys rope, they deserve to win it. I’ve always been the guy who comes in in the lead and does the best all year, I think those guys should win it.”
Full Round 5 Results
|STEER||TEAM||ROUND 5||NOTES||PLACE||EARNINGS PER MAN|
|12||Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves||3.9||3||$17,254.95|
|38||Tanner Tomlinson and Patrick Smith||4.9||4||$12,125.10|
|13||Coleman Proctor and Logan Medlin||3.8||1 2||$25,882.46|
|18||Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins||5.2||5||$7,461.60|
|15||Clay Smith and Jake Long||8.6||leg|
|9||Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill||3.8||1 2||$25,882.46|
|22||Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira||0||horse steps in loop|
|6||Jake Orman and Brye Crites||0||header missed|
|8||Riley Minor and Brady Minor||5.4||6||$4,663.50|
|5||Lightning Aguilera and Jonathan Torres||0||Heeler missed|
|4||Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp||0||Header missed|
|3||Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison||0||Heeler missed|
|2||JR Dees and Levi Lord||14.20|
|10||Tyler Wade and Trey Yates||0||Header missed|
|1||Rhen Richard and Jeremy Buhler||0||Header missed|