In just a week, Victor Begay will be waiting anxiously at the Thomas and Mack to watch his son take a shot at his first world title. But last month, it was Derrick Begay who sat quietly behind the roping boxes watching Victor win a title of his own.
The senior Begay and header Roderick Tso roped four steers in 33.4 seconds to claim the Indian National Finals Rodeo average title and world championship.
“The steers were kinda tough, and my dad having the experience and being the veteran, he just kept catching,” Derrick said. “I got nervous a little bit before he roped, but I already knew what the outcome was going to be. They were second callback, and when his header got out of the barrier and caught, I knew what my dad was going to do.”
“Dad’s like me, he doesn’t get too excited,” Derrick added. “But I was really happy, and really proud.”
This was Victor’s first INFR title.
“Any time that a family member does good, you know all the sacrifices they made to get there,” Derrick added.
Victor has been the biggest influence on Derrick’s career, teaching him to rope early on and always heeling for him. The father and son team up to compete at Indian rodeos, and Derrick said his father will always be his first partner at those ropings.
“He gave me an opportunity, I know he’d have given more if he could. But he gave me the most important thing, and that was opportunity. My dad is my biggest fan. In Vegas, he’ll be there first and be the last to leave. He likes being a part of the rodeo and a part of what I do. I enjoy sharing the accomplishments with him,” Derrick said.