Garrett Tonozzi isn't just the PRCA's team roping contestant director, he's the number two header in the ProRodeo world standings as of press time. We caught up with Tonozzi and asked him questions that were on the minds of Spin To Win Rodeo's readers. If you'd like to have a pro answer your question next month, visitfacebook.com/spintowinrodeo and join in the discussion.
Caide Roberts: After doing so great with Kinney Harrell a few years ago, how do you bounce back after being absent from the Finals for a couple years and make it back to the NFR?
The game plan would be to turn more steers. I just really need to keep my head in the game and work on turning as many steers as I can. Roping with Kinney, he's going to throw fast most of the time, so I've got to keep my horses working all year long and keep as many horses under me as I can.
Chris Cockrell: Unlike football, basketball and baseball, in rodeo it seems like former champs or top performers have kids that become top performers themselves. What do you think they do to achieve that kind of performance?
Rodeo is such a family-oriented sport. Especially team roping. I've been blessed with a grandfather and uncle who roped and competed their whole lives, and I grew up with it. Unlike those other sports, this is a lifestyle. Every morning we're feeding horses; every evening we're feeding horses. We were born and raised around it and we've loved it ever since we can remember. We didn't just choose a sport like basketball or baseball. We chose a lifestyle. ?Also, I got to rope with my uncle at the professional level, and he showed me the ropes and showed me what was going on. It's an advantaged for sure.
Kee Yazzie: How do you select the steers at the NFR?
This year I called around to some guys and I chose what I thought was going to be my best option. They guy I used had 200 head and he set them aside at the middle of the summer. I knew a guy that worked for him, and he had been to the NFR a few times. He roped through them before the Finals, and three weeks before six guys that made the NFR came over and roped through them, and we chose 60 head.
Bonner Shelton: How often do you use your top horses outside of the arena and how important is that to their success throughout the year?
I don't use them to work cows that much. If I'm going to work cows I'm going to ride a colt. I will take my top horses outside the arena and ride around some, though. I think it's great for them to get outside the arena and get their mind off of it, though. There's so much stress on a head horse all year long, they have to get a break every now and then.
Jessica Lee: What do you plan to do on your runs before you go out and make your runs?
Basically the way I look at runs is the way I can make the most money. I take the cheapest route where I can make the most money. In the winter you obviously just go and make the big ones, but in the summer you might just skip a big one and go to a bunch of little ones if I can make the same money.