Dustin Egusquiza set out in 2016 to make the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and came up just short, finishing 18th in the PRCA world standings with $58,692 won. But the Southeastern phenome did win the 2016 Resistol Rookie of the Year title on the head side, a goal he kept in the back of his mind all year.
“Originally, when I left home, my main goal was to make the Finals,” Egusquiza said. “But winning the Rookie was something I really wanted to do. I learned that there are going to be good weeks and bad weeks, and right now, I’ve had two bad weeks, so those lessons are paying off. I’m working on staying positive because there are a lot of rodeos left. You can’t win with a negative attitude.”
Egusquiza roped with fellow Southeast-Circuit standouts Brad Culpepper and Clint Summers in 2016 en route to his Resistol Rookie of the Year title, and won the George Strait Team Roping Classic, and the coveted rig that goes along with the title, with Kyle Lawrence. He rode his 14-year-old bay gelding, Duke, all year.
“He was probably the best I’ve ever owned, but he died last October,” Egusquiza said. “When he died I was afoot. I had a heel horse I’d ridden for a while, and I just went to roping on him. It’s amazing how fast he came to it.” SWR