The new year is off to a nice start for Peyton Walters and Joe Mattern, taking home $15,000 for the 2024 WCRA Stampede at The E win.
The Texas cowboys stopped the clock Saturday, Jan. 6 in 5.52 seconds to clinch a major win at the start of the new year, something Mattern is relieved by.
“I’m feeling really excited,” Mattern, 35, said. “I needed a good win, and it was just awesome. The WCRA does a great job putting on these events. Being the first of the year, it feels good.”
As a newlywed, 24-year-old Walters hasn’t had much time to practice, given his wedding was just a week ago on New Year’s Eve.
“First weekend of the year, it feels great,” Walters said. “I haven’t gotten to rope very much; I got married New Year’s Eve, so the first steer I got to run was right here with Joe.”
How to win the Stampede at The E
Walters and Mattern started their Lazy E stay on the right foot, winning the average of the Qualifying Rounds Jan. 3, with a 12.85 on two head and pocketing $1,268.57 a man.
Progressive Round 1 saw them out of the money, no thanks to a five-second penalty. They were second in Progressive Round 2 with a 6.38 for $1,000. At fourth in the two-head average, they advanced to the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round.
When they realized what steer they had, the excitement really kicked in.
“I was so excited we had that steer, and I knew if we just did our job, we were going to stand a good chance of getting some good money on that steer,” Mattern said. “And it worked out in our favor.”
Walters had been eyeing the steer the entire week and knew exactly what he’d do in the field.
“I remember seeing him back there, last night Ryne Hutton took him,” Walters said. “He stepped left right over there where I want to be. I knew if I could just turn him back, that WCRA King right here, it wouldn’t be any trouble for him.”
Mattern is one of the WCRA’s highest money earners, picking up his first major win in 2019 at the WCRA Windy City Roundup.
“When it first started, I was roping with Garrett Tonozzi,” Mattern explained. “And we were talking and said, ‘Man, that’d be a good deal. We’d go to Chicago to run a steer for that much money any day.’ We ended up nominating a few rodeos that new week and did good and kind of kept the ball rolling. I haven’t really nominated a whole lot; I try to nominate these and go from there.”
Because of Mattern’s track record, Walters has extra confidence in their runs together.
“You show up here with this guy, it’s expected almost,” Walters said. “He does it here every time.”
Walters and Mattern both put on ropings and work with horses and cattle, and they’ve got a solid friendship to aid in their partnership.
“We’ve roped together on and off and have known each other most of our lives,” Walters said. “I’d say we’re been buddies not just in the arena, we’re good friends outside the arena and talk to each other. And like I said, I wanted to jump on this and have him here.”
While Mattern is referred to as the “WCRA king” by some, Walters is just a WCRA rookie.
“I’d only ever been to one before,” Walters said. “I went to maybe one of the first or second ones in Corpus (Christi). I feel like they’re a great deal. I think the thing where people mess up on the most is just forgetting to nominate, but Tory Murdock does a great job of sending the text out before every big event, andI think as long as they just keep doing that, more people will be able to do it.”
The team may not go to town much in 2024, but they know for a fact they’re sticking to the WCRA road.
“I really am not planning on rodeoing too much,” Mattern said. “Just back home roping around the house and sticking to the cattle and doing that deal. We’ll be at Corpus and anytime they have one of these, but other than that, probably won’t see me very much.”