Coming off a Top 10 finish in the 2021 ProRodeo world standings after competing at the Wrangler NFR, Tyler Wade and Trey Yates teed off the 2022 season with an average win at the Sandhills Stock Show & Rodeo in Odessa, Texas.
The dynamic duo finished first in the average with a time of 8.2-seconds on two head, worth $2,590 a man, giving them a 0.8-second lead on the second-place team of Kolton Schmidt and Wyatt Cox.
“That’s kind of the first rodeo back for everybody,” Yates said. “We drew two good steers and got them caught. Obviously, T-Wade is so fast that I just tried to get to a good spot.”
The rodeo is known for its quick setup, but a change to the added money shortened up the entry list.
[Read: YOU CAN DO BETTER: Pinpointing How to Improve Your Roping]
“They backed off the added money, so there were 25 less teams than normal,” Wade said. “But if there’s a rodeo in Texas with 70 teams, it will be pretty tough.”
Tough it was. Wade and Yates finished second in the first round with a 4.1-second run, worth $1,501 a man. The 2021 Resistol Rookie Header of the Year, John Gaona, with partner Trevor Nowlin secured the round win with a 3.9-second run, worth $1,727 a man.
“That steer was an extra at the NFR and an extra at the Circuit Finals,” Wade said. They do rope the extras at the Finals, and they made a good run on him running him through one night. He came left a bit, which might have been why he was an extra.”
“T-Wade got a good start and was wide,” Yates added. “I kind of had to hustle around there, but he had his feet together. When the steer got on the end of it, he was out in front of me, and I had a lot of power on my rope, so we got a good finish.”
[Learn more: Finding Power in Team Roping Heeling Position with Trey Yates]
Wade and Yates duplicated their time in the second round to split third place with Shay Carroll and Evan Arnold with a 4.1-second run, worth $1,164 a man.
“The second one was a bigger steer and ran a better pattern than our first one,” Yates said. “The steer kind of shuffled out of there, but I feel like I stayed back and could kind of see it all and was able to leave everything out in front of me and put a lot of loop on the ground. We got a good finish again.”
Wade tapped his 13-year-old, appendix-bred gelding, Spur, to handle the steers for Yates.
“I hadn’t ridden that horse much besides the circuit finals and we were 4.2,” Wade said. “Between the NFR, the Circuit Finals and there, he was quicker than I wanted him to be. He’s honest and goes with whatever you want to do. I just tried to ride him across the line and have enough momentum. He’s gritty and he’ll do whatever I ask him. If I ride him, he’ll dang sure do his job.”
[Learn more about Spur: No Accident: Wade’s Bay a Result of Historic California Breeding Program]
Yates heeled on his 12-year-old sorrel gelding, Duke, who has been his pick for jackpot settings.
“He had been getting ponied and then I rode him for a couple days. Then Jaden loped him every day while we were at Odessa so we could be ready to go this winter. I had been jackpotting on Duke, keeping him ready for anything.”
[Learn more about Duke: Shoeing Adjustments Help Yates’ Duke Return to Rodeo Action]
Now, with the winter rodeos taking off, Wade and Yates have yet to discuss their plan for the 2022 season, but Yates is prepared to level up his roping career.
“We haven’t really discussed anything,” Yates said. “We had a good year last year and I think even more so this year I’m hoping my mind is in a little better place than what it was last year—maybe confidence-wise and attitude-wise. I just hope that I can do a good job for T-Wade because there’s no doubt that he’s amongst the most talented guys in the world with a head rope. I’m just fortunate to have him as a partner and hopefully I do my job.”
1. John Gaona and Trevor Nowlin, 3.9-second run, worth $1,727 a man
2. Tyler Wade and Trey Yates, 4.1-second run, worth $1,501
3. Kolton Schmidt and Wyatt Cox, 4.2-second run, worth $1,276 a man
4/5. Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves, 4.3-second run, worth $938 a man
4/5. Clint Summers and Ross Ashford, 4.3-second run, worth $938 a man
6. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, 4.4-second run, worth $601
7. Jaxson Tucker and Cole Curry, 4.8-second run, worth $375 a man
8. Quisto Lopez and Cody Thornton, 5.0-second run, worth $150 a man
1. Jake Orman and Brye Crites, 3.8-second run, worth $1,727 a man
2. Cory Kidd V and Lane Mitchell, 4.0-second run, worth $1,501 a man
3/4. Tyler Wade and Trey Yates, 4.1-second run, worth $1,164 a man
3/4. Shay Dixon Carroll and Evan Arnold, 4.1-second run, worth $1,164 a man
5/6. Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp, 4.2-second run, worth $713 a man
5/6. Lightning Aguilera and Coleby Payne, 4.2-second run, worth $713 a man
7/8/9. Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins II, 4.3-second run, worth $175 a man
7/8/9. Joshua Torres and Jonathan Torres, 4.3-second run, worth $175 a man
7/8/9. Aaron Macy and Jason Johe, 4.3-second run, worth $175 a man
1. Tyler Wade and Trey Yates, 8.2 seconds on two head, worth $2,590 a man
2. Kolton Schmidt and Wyatt Cox, 9.0 seconds on two head, worth $2,252 a man
3. Clint Summers and Ross Ashford, 9.8 seconds on two head, worth $1,914 a man
4. Tanner James and Phoenix Everano, 10.3 seconds on two head, worth $1,576 a man
5. Jhett Trenary and Gralyn Elkins, 10.4 seconds on two head, worth $1,239 a man
6. Reno Stoebner and Colton Brittain, 10.5 seconds on two head, worth $901 a man
7. Jaxson Tucker and Cole Curry, 12.8 seconds on two head, worth $563 a man
8. Tyler Waters and Tyler McKnight, 14.8 seconds on two head, worth $225 a man.