Everyone knows the old adage, always bet on the grey horse at the track. Well, if someone wanted to find a sure thing at a World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) event, they might want to lay their money down on team roper Joe Mattern.
Already one of the WCRA’s highest money earners since their launch in 2018, Mattern added to his career total after winning the second performance of the Progressive Round at Rodeo Corpus Christi (RCC) on Thursday, May 12. Twenty-four teams advanced to rope in the perfs at American Bank Center from Qualifying Rounds held early this week in Robstown. Only two move on after each performance as the field works its way to Showdown Saturday.
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Mattern heeled for Louisiana cowboy Tee Luttrell and the pair stopped the clock at 5.53 seconds for the win. As one of only three teams to catch, they picked up $1,733.33 for the win which included some ground money.
Mattern is just adding to his career WCRA total of $142,466.67. That included a pair of back-to-back wins at WCRA Majors in 2019 worth $50,000 each.
“I guess it’s just good luck,” Mattern said humbly of his huge success on the WCRA’s Triple Crown of Rodeo series. “I always seem to end up with pretty good partners.”
The Plantersville, Texas cowboy got drawn to rope with Luttrell but said he’s known the Southeastern Circuit Finals qualifier for awhile and they’ve even roped together previously at a jackpot or two.
“I was excited to rope with him, he heads really good,” Mattern said.
Roping second out on Thursday, Mattern and Luttrell had only a penalty laden 16.08 in front of them and with plenty of talent still to rope behind them, it was tough to make a game plan other than rope what the steer in front of them.
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“That steer came left hard and Tee did a good job getting him caught,” Mattern said. “I was thinking, just catch and see how the cards fall.”
The quick start and small arena, along with the pressure of roping against some outstanding talent, are causing havoc for the team ropers here as only Zachary Kilgus and Jake Edwards were able to catch after Mattern and Luttrell’s run. With a run of 5.80, the ropers from the northeast are moving on as well.
“Tee did a good job of making my job easier,” Mattern said, who relied on his good bay horse Scoot on Thursday. “You have to be really aggressive as a heeler, get them on as short a rope as possible before your partner gets in the wall.”
Mattern is sticking around Corpus as he’ll be back on the other side Friday night, roping with Trey Johnson. Both men made the Triple Crown Round at the last WCRA event, the Cowtown Christmas Championship in December in Fort Worth, though they didn’t rope together there. But the points earned for that showing gave them both a bump in the WCRA Leaderboard standings to get into Corpus.
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“It looked like we would be the number one seed and have the guaranteed spot [to the Showdown Round] but Kaleb and Junior [PRCA reigning champs Driggers and Nogueira] got by us,” Mattern said. The duo ended up second, which guaranteed their spot in the Progressive Round but they roped in the Qualifying Round anyway, picking up a round win.
Mattern switches ends frequently and noted that he’s been heading more than heeling lately. Earning a spot on both sides in Corpus was definitely the goal.
“I figured if it works out, it might carry over to Salt Lake City.” The Days of 47 Cowboy Games is next up on the WCRA schedule for the cowboys, coming in mid-July.
In the meantime, Mattern is looking forward to Saturday when his family will join him in Corpus. Wife Miranda will bring their newborn Jade to watch Dad rope for $15,000 and a surfboard.
“He’s six months old and it’s been pretty cool,” he said. “He’s a blessing for sure and I’m looking forward to having them down here with me.”
With a family and businesses to run, along with training horses, the WCRA is a great fit for Mattern and he’s thankful for the opportunity to rope for big money at their events.
“They’ve been awesome for me and my family.”
Wednesday, May 11, 2022 Results
- Tee Luttrell/Joe Mattern, 5.53 seconds, $1,733.33*
- Zachary Kilgus/Jake Edwards, 5.80, $1,333.33*
- Alex Muratori/Speed Williams, 16.08, $933.33
No Other Qualified Runs*Top 2 Advance to Showdown Rou