Marcus Theriot entered the Lazy E Arena on Thursday, March 11, with determination to secure his first-ever Cinch Timed Event Championship Ironman title.
After five grueling rounds at the 37th annual CTEC in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Theriot, 23, tied his last tripping steer in 21.2 seconds to secure his No. 1 spot with a total time of 322.4 seconds on 25 head to win the Ironman, worth $100,000.
“Today didn’t go quite like I had planned,” said Theriot, who resides in Poplarville, Mississippi. “We were riding out and my dad said, ‘I’m glad that you’re not high call tonight’ I was like, ‘I don’t mind being first.’ It all worked out today. I’m just blessed to be here.”
Theriot has been to the CTEC five years now and has finished in the top five a handful of times hoping to break the ice. He grew up watching his father, Herbert Theriot, who has placed second but never won the Ironman title, compete at this same event and hoped to one-up him one day with a Championship title.
“I used to come out here with him,” Theriot said. “He’s won second a few times, so I finally have one up on him.”
Theriot drew the extra steer in the final round of the tripping which made his nervous act up before backing in the box.
“When I had seen that I had an extra today I thought that it could be really good because he didn’t know that I was coming, or I thought it could be really bad because he didn’t know where he was going,” said Theriot, who is third in the PRCA all-around standings with $18,314.16 and sixth in the heading with $11,373.50. “I kind of thought that I was high call, and I had a chance at a lot of money. I was broke when I got here, so if I messed up I’d be broke when I leave. At the end of the day the money is the money and I’m just very blessed.”
Theriot had help from two-time NFR qualifier Shay Carroll, who also helped him in 2020, in the heading and heeling.
“He’s done an outstanding job,” Theriot said about Carroll. “His heading must be really phenomenal to pull them all in my loop.”
Tyler Pearson, the 2017 world champion steer wrestler, has helped Theriot in the bull dogging from a young age and was a major factor in Theriot winning this event.
“He used to live pretty close to us when I started out bull dogging,” Theriot said. “He always knows where I’m at. I was kind of wide and I knew that he knew I was going to ride terrible so he was ready.”
Theriot couldn’t have won this event without the help of the five equine athletes who put him in perfect position each on for five head.
“My head horse Gato is really solid,” Theriot said. “That was honestly the only horse, besides the bull dogging horse, that I knew would be good and knew what they were going to do every time. The calf horse is Tyler Milligan’s. I went and ran five calves on him the other day and it didn’t really go great, but I knew the horse was good, so I wasn’t really worried about it. The bull dogging horse is mine and Kaleb Driggers’. I jumped the very first steer on him. The heel horse is Coleby Payne’s. She was young, but I rode her the other day and she worked really well. I asked him if I can take her. She was great. This was her first big event. I’ve never sat on the tripping horse before. I’ve seen videos and knew he was good. I honestly thought that he was going to be way too good for me, but he throttled down for me and took care of me.
Now that the marathon of an event is in the books Theriot can’t wait for the 2022 edition of the CTEC with hopes of defending his new title.
“Every year getting here you’re so excited to get here, you hate when it’s about to be over and when it is over, you’re kind of bummed that you have to wait a whole year,” Theriot said.
When Theriot is asked if he can hold up to the Ironman title his answer is: “I for sure can for 365 days until I have to prove it again.”