Tanner Tomlinson is giving Britt Smith a run for his money in the Resistol Rookie heading race after adding $2,117 to his earnings this past week.
"I'm not really worried about that," Tomlinson calmly noted. "I'm just putting it aside and making sure that I turn a bunch of steers for my partner. I'll worry about that when it comes down the road I guess."
Broken Bow, Oklahoma's Britt Smith, who's roping with big brother Jake and who has led the race most of the year, now has $7,613.09 to Tomlinson's $5,663.38.
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Tomlinson jumped from fourth to second in the Resistol Rookie Race after placing fourth with Brady Norman at the Crossett (Arkansas) Riding Club 72nd Annual PRCA Rodeo with a time of 14.9 seconds on two head, worth $1,046 a man.
They started their weekend off with a 4.8-second run, which was fast enough to tie for second in round one with Justin Johnson and Cole Curry, worth $1,071 a man.
"We got there and it was really muddy—I mean flooded. We got a real good start on our first one and I got him with a half head. He handled real good and Brady heeled him on the first hop. In the second round the steer was pretty good. We would have been about 5-flat on our second one but we didn't get a very good flag and ended up being a little bit longer and won fourth in the average."
This money gave Tomlinson a confidence booster as he prepares for his first big Fourth-run.
"A lot of them little rodeos here lately have been a real confidence booster to get the ball rolling for some of these bigger rodeos coming up. I'm pretty excited for them."
Tomlinson is fortunate enough to have a good partner to travel with to help him prepare for the next few weeks, along with the mental coach of 16-time NFR qualifier Martin Lucero.
"He's kind of been out here the last couple years and rodeoed so he kind of knows his stuff. Martin Lucero—I amateur rodeoed with him last year. He's helped my mental game out a lot. He's been one that's kind of got me to where I am in the past year."
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Resistol Rookie Headers:
1. Britt Smith, $7,613.09
2. Tanner Tomlinson, $5,663.38
3. Lathen Bryant, $5,119.72
4. Ryan Pope, $3,962.32
5. Whit Harper, $2,891.67
6. Kade Smith, $2,479.30
7. Coy Rahlmann, $2,163.30
8. Zane Murphy, $1,624.93
9. Ric LeBlanc, $1,017.43
Resistol Rookie Heelers:
1. Zak Dobbins, $7,047.87
2. Clay Futrell, $4,557.08
3. Eddie Medina, $3,742.46
4. Blaine Courson, $3,313.29
5. Abdiel Zamora, 2,246.17
6. Joshua Smitherman, $2,246.15
7. Matt Schieck, $1,628.09
8. Jacob Goddard, $1,607.56
9. Jorge Cruz Ibarra, $586.64
10. Jake Beard, $539.45