PRCA team roping director Manny Egusquiza looks forward to this coming Wrangler National Finals Rodeo after picking out a smaller set of steers for the finals. He hopes to see some faster runs at the Thomas & Mack.
Kaitlin Gustave: Where are the steers for the finals coming from?
Manny Equsquiza: Bobby Joe Hill provided the cattle. We started off with one hundred head—we’re down to sixty-eight. Monday morning, we already roped through the 100, roped them three or four times. The reason that we picked Bobby Joe, nothing against Matt Sanchez–he had done it in years past and done a good job–but the guys wanted to actually be more hands on that deal where they were roping them through. They’d show up there and they’re going off of a video of some low-numbered guys trying to break in the steers. I think it’s going to be a better deal as a whole.
KG: You mentioned before about breaking in the steers. Are you going to break them in anymore?
ME: We have roped them three times. We’re actually still making the cut. Monday, Bobby Joe is also going to rope through them at least three more times, maybe even four.
KG: What should people look for at the Finals?
ME: I’ve seen it all. What to expect as a whole—I really don’t know just because the steers are going to be smaller. I’m looking for it to be a faster roping. It’s hard to say because of the environment in Las Vegas, but I’m hoping by bringing smaller steers with that setup, it’s going to be fast. I was a little more hands on with a lot of stuff this year, not because I’m the team roping director, but I get to see a lot of the guys practice it. I’m kind of involved a little bit with my brother's (Dustin Egusquiza) stuff. I get to see the guys practice and stuff on videos so I do think it’s going to be faster.
KG: Did anything with the selection of the steers change from this year versus last year?
ME: There’s a fine line because the main reason is when they sit around there for that many days every rodeo steer gets drawn up. There is that fine line to where they weren’t very small, but they weren’t gigantic like they have been in the past. We want them where they stay healthy and keep running. We’re trying to stay with the weight difference for right now. The steers are around 525 lbs to 535 lbs or somewhere around there. So they’re not going to be around 580 lbs like they were in the past. Those are good steers but they need to be roped more, I think. I’ll know more by Tuesday when I’m down there because right now those guys just went and caught the steers and chased them down—they just stretched them out but they didn’t really put any fast runs on them. I think by Monday, when we get done, I think one of the runs that we’re going to put on them is going to be more of a faster run just to see.