Don’t Risk It

World Champs Tyler Wade, Wesley Thorp Win Priefert Ranch Open on Way to $40K Week for Wade & His Trademark Neck Shots
TWade's on a tear.

Tyler Wade has had a banner week in jackpot land with partner Wesley Thorp, second partner Paul Eaves and draw partner Tyler Worley, banking some $40,000 since the start of the Memorial Day Weekend in 2024.

Wade—on his team of young mares to let his good gelding Espuela Bro rest before the summer run—kicked off the week Friday, May 24, with a second-place check at the Windy Ryon Memorial with Eaves for $3,714 a man, roping five head in 43.91 seconds. He was third at the Danny Dietz Memorial Classic Saturday, May 25, with Worley for $5,850 each, roping five head in 33.09 seconds.

May 26, Wade was third in the Cody Johnson 7-Header at the Cody NesSmith Memorial May 26 for a time of 60.84 on seven, worth $11,000 a man with Thorp. They finished the week with a $12,500 win for the team at the Priefert Ranch Pro Roping Open with a time of 35.99 on five head.

“I’ve always thought that whoever jackpots well are the ones who can make a living roping a little easier,” Wade, 31, of Terrell, Texas, said. “Clay Tryan was the best example of it when I was younger. He made more of a profit doing it than anyone else. This week, we won $40,000 and didn’t go but two hours from the house.”

Wade’s wins this week (and for most of the last decade) came thanks to his reliable neck shots and signature handles.

But why rope the neck so dang much?

“I rope the neck good,” Wade said. “When I go to rope the horns sharp, I miss some. I have a lot of faith in my neck roping. The rhythm sets it up for Wesley and Paul, and it’s an easy read for them. If I need to go catch one and if his horns are even fair, I try to rope the neck.

“I will get a front leg sometimes, but I bet I’d wave it off more than I’d get a front leg,” Wade explained further. “There’s a better chance of me waving it off than me getting a front leg, so I’m just playing the odds. I do think a little bit of it boils down to pride getting in the way, wanting to rope sharp or wanting to make sure it looks good. For me it’s doing whatever it takes to win, however it looks. I don’t care, I just want to win. I think that’s what it takes.”


@Tyler Wade has won $40K in the last week, one jackpot at a time. He just won the @Priefert Ranch Pro Roping’s Open with @Wesleythorp1 last night from Mt. Pleasant, Texas, with 5/5 neck shots 🐮 Wade and Thorp were on an impressive team of young mares for the W in Apache R Biscuit & RS Playboys Doc Rea. #dontriskitropethebrisket #heading #heeling #teamroping #cowboystuff

♬ som original – ᡶꪹꪮꪶꪶ3ᦔꪖ

Another element to Wade’s win streak? His team of young mares in RS Rare Timber (“Brandy”), a 2016 daughter of First Timber out of the Rare Bar daughter RS Rare Cherry, and Apache R Biscuit (“Butters”), a 2013 daughter of the late, great Apache Blue Boy out of Rooster For Chris by Wild Bills Hancock.

“I have two mares coincidentally,” Wade said. “Butters came from Bubba Buckaloo. He gave her tome to ride for a while and told me to do whatever. I liked her and thought she was easy and super honest so I bought her, and the black mare was an outside horse of my brother-in-laws for like a year and a half and I always knew she was good and green. He told me I needed to ride her, and I liked her a bit. They wanted her to run barrels, so my wife rode her and liked her. When I came home from the summer, I snuck off one day and headed some on her and I decided I needed to find a way to own her.”

Wade stayed on his two best jackpot horses because of how much all the week’s jackpots were going to pay.

“The jackpots were so good this week that you ride your top horses—you stay on your good horses and you get in a groove,” Wade said. “Both of these mares have gotten so consistent and easy to rope on, and they’re honest in every setup because the scores were different everywhere we went. But with the cattle fresh all week, their speed helped a lot.”

This profitable spring is a far cry from the drought Wade found himself in jackpotting this winter when he’d go weeks without a check.

“Roping in general is a marathon,” Wade said. “I think if you think you’re in a slump and act like you’re in a slump and focus on how long it’s been since you’ve won, it will be even longer til you win. It will turn around if you’re working hard and doing it right. A lot of it is in your head.”

Wade will enter the summer run ninth in the world with $41,533 won so far this year.


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