WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi saved the best for last in the team roping. Quite literally. Nelson Wyatt and Jade Corkill were the last team to rope in the last Progressive Round, May 12, 2023.—and their 3.86-second run was the fastest time of the week.
“I knew we had a good steer,” said Wyatt, originally from Alabama but now calling Stephenville, Texas, home. “It was one of my favorites from the slack over there. Just getting a good start, trying to turn him. I knew if I turn him was going catch two feet.”
Because of the nature of their steer and how the herd faired last night, Corkill prepared himself to not jump out on top of him.
“He kind of checked off the other day, so I was thinking in my head before we went, I wanted to see a little bit, definitely,” said the Nevada native also making his home in Stephenville. “There were a couple that stopped last night and so, I [was] already thinking that he might try to do that. But other than that, it just kind of came together just like we were hoping.”
What they were hoping for was a run that would get them back to the Showdown Round.
“Just wanted to get back to tomorrow,” Corkill said. “They pay money throughout the deal, but, especially for [Nelson], the big money’s at the end. Luckily, we got to be last out and knew what we had to do. Position means a lot nowadays, so it kind of gave us an easy streak as far as that part went.”
There are literally a million reasons why the $15,000 Rodeo Corpus Christi payday is especially big for Wyatt.
After winning the WCRA Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo in December 2022, Wyatt became Triple Crown of Rodeo eligible. The annual bonus pays $1 million to any athlete(s) who wins first place in any three consecutive WCRA Major Rodeos. Wyatt is one-third of the way there and staying calm.
“To me, really, it isn’t a big run yet,” Wyatt said. “I mean, it’s just team roping. There’s still a lot of hoops to jump through and I’m just trying to keep jumping through them.”
Corkill paired up with Bodak Yellow, a 7-year-old gelding that’s still getting seasoned.
“He’s a little bit green,” he said. “I haven’t ridden him in very many rodeos yet, but he’s the best one I got. So, he’s going to get a chance this year.”
Wyatt, on the other hand, stuck with “Colt,” the grey gelding that aided him in his 2022 Texas Circuit Finals win.
READ: Call it Plan B: Nelson Wyatt and Tyler Worley Win Texas Circuit Titles
“I actually bought a new one last week but, for a chance like this, I’m going to ride what I’m used to,” Wyatt explained.
Wyatt sticks to nominating bigger rodeos, like Fort Worth and Houston, and it’s been a successful tactic thus far. Part of the WCRA allure for him is the closeness of the Major Events.
“I like that they’re not very far away,” Wyatt said. “Fort Worth is right by Stephenville. Corpus is not too far. And you get to rope for $15,000. There are not many rodeos that pay $15,000.”
It’s a no-brainer, and Corkill thinks so, too.
“I wish more people would do these deals,” Corkill said. “I think the way they do it is how it should be done. They make everything really easy on you. Like, the other day, we’ve gotten to rope for free the whole time. No entry fees other than what we nominated. So, it seems like a no-brainer to me. I don’t know a reason why I wouldn’t do it.”
The three-time World Champion also has two boys to think about and it makes a world of difference when they get to tag along, just like they did this week for Rodeo Corpus Christi.
“It means a lot,” Corkill said. “It’s the only reason I’m still doing it. As soon as they can’t go with me, I’m not going do it anymore. But they love going; they like it. When I was a little kid, I didn’t get to go to all these rodeos and do this, so as long as they want to go, I’m going to keep going.”
- Nelson Wyatt/Jade Corkill, 3.86, $1,600
- Ty Arnold/Kaden Profili, 4.41, $1,200
- James Arviso/Daniel Braman, 4.68, $800
- Thomas Zuniga/Reno Stoebner, 9.83, $400
The Showdown Round will take place Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 7 p.m. CST. The three fastest times from the Showdown Round will advance to the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round, following the Showdown Round that evening.