Zack Woods, 23, of Walters, Oklahoma, is making big moves in the race for the Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year title, currently ranking sixth in the standings with $7,515.69 in season earnings.
As part of his pursuit, Woods has tapped Relentless Remuda’s Miles Baker on the head side, who’s been an important player in his success, both in and out of the ProRodeo arena.
“I was probably 16 or 17 when I started roping with Miles,” Woods said. “He lived close by me and I just went and roped with him every now and then. Then it turned out that we ended up being best friends and I’ve been roping with him ever since. He’s helped me a bunch with my horsemanship, letting me ride good horses and getting a feel for them. I probably wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”
“He’s helped me out so much with where I need to be on my horse and to how I need to swing my rope,” Woods said. “He told me ‘Everything has to set up good. If you have to take an extra swing, take the extra swing to catch.’”
Throughout his rookie season, Woods has relied heavily on his 9-year-old sorrel gelding he calls Boon. When Woods bought him as a 2-year-old, he was a bit of an outlaw. But now he gets the call for all the major rodeos.
“Miles saw him and he’s like ‘That’s going to be a good horse,’” Woods said. “It took me a long time to get him to where he is. He’s tough. I can rely on him no matter the setup. I can ride him at a short setup where the steers are slow, or I can ride him where the starts long and he’ll give me the same shot every single time.”
His A-string also includes a 7-year-old bay gelding by Dual Rey he calls Sancho, which he purchased last winter from the Relentless Remuda. Woods has also had success on Sancho at Royal Crown events, winning the Royal Crown Derby in Buckeye, Arizona.
“When he backs in the box, he does the same thing every time,” Woods said.
Wood’s highlights during his first year in ProRodeo include winning the Ram Prairie Circuit Finals, placing second at the PRCA Championship Rodeo, splitting second at the Longview PRCA Rodeo, placing second at the Duncan Pro Rodeo, finishing fourth in the average at the Santa Rosa Roundup, and placing sixth at the 101 Wild West Rodeo.
Despite his busy schedule, which includes day-working, riding outside horses, and assisting Baker and Brazile in showing futurity horses for the Relentless Remuda, Woods continues to battle for the Year-End title.
“I just wanted to rodeo ever since I was a little kid,” Woods said.
In the upcoming months, Woods and Baker will be competing at the Circuit Finals in Colorado Springs and Cheyenne Frontier Days, in addition to the ARHFA Rope Horse Futurity events in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Rock Springs, Wyoming, and Rapid City, South Dakota.
Resistol Rookie Headers Standings:
- Tanner James, Porterville, CA • $15,980.72
- Kreece Thompson, Munday, TX $12,579.92
- Bodie Mattson, Sturgis, SD • $7,214.10
- T.C. Hammack, Chiloquin, OR • $4,908.48
- Jason Burson, Sealy, TX • $4,565.85
- Wyatt Lacey, Prescott Valley, AZ • $3,987.80
- Logan Currie, Wharton, TX • $3,945.69
- Travis Nickolson, Irvine, AB • $3,665.00
- Blaine Redhorse, Rough Rock, AZ • $3,255.46
- Tyler Hobert, Clearwater, KS • $3,169.09
- Riley Eres, Lynnwood, WA • $2,850.79
- Peter Bennett, Kaycee, WY • $1,804.72
- Kash Bonnett, Ponoka, AB • $1,734.42
- Caleb Berquist, LaCrosse, WA • $1,729.37
- Logan James Allen, Ozark, MO • $1,694.35
Resistol Rookie Heelers Standings:
- Junior Zambrano, Nogales, AZ • $17,151.59
- Clay Green, Pine Grove, LA • $16,369.25
- Thomas Smith, Mt. Juliet, TN • $13,852.59
- Trae Smith, Georgetown, ID • $11,625.24
- Blaine Turner, Batesville, AR • $8,895.13
- Zack Woods, Walters, OK • $7,515.69
- Dalton Totty, Lewisville, TN • $7,099.94
- Levi Walter, Alva, OK • $3,197.32
- Arye Espenscheid, Big Piney, WY • $3,090.33
- Kolton Good, Carter, OK • $3,024.58
- Colton Wallen, Coulee City, WA • $2,850.79
- Cody Stewart, Red Bluff, CA • $2,525.58
- Clayton Moore, Bridgeville, CA • $2,454.78
- Reed Boos, White Cloud, KS • $2,251.97
- Brandt Ross, Sheridan, WY • $1,804.72