Tyler Wade is a renowned reacher. So the Round 1 win with Cole Davison at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo—which at 4 flat actually tied the Round 1 NFR team roping record set by Turtle Powell and Dakota Kirchenschlager in 2014—might make you think nothing’s changed. But don’t be deceived. Because if you look over the notorious gunslinger’s shoulder when he checks his phone—like I did backstage at the go-round buckle presentations at the South Point last night when his phone was blowing up with cell-sent high fives from family, friends and fans—you’ll see that T-Wade has his sets set on something different than go-round checks this year.
[READ MORE: Score, Ride, Rope with Tyler Wade]
“I’m working on more gears,” said the 27-year-old, third-year NFR header, grinning while gazing at his new screen-saver shot of the NFR average saddles. “I’m trying to slow down a little and be more consistent. I took a picture of the average saddles on my phone to remind myself to see it to the end.”
This is Wade’s third NFR, and the second-straight spinning in the Thomas & Mack for Davison.
[READ MORE: Wade and Davison Tee Off with Round 1 Win]
“This is only the third steer we’ve caught clean in two years here, and we’ve got three go-round buckles,” smiled Davison, 30, of Stephenville, Texas. “Amazing what good comes of stopping the clock.”
They did actually have another snappy run last year, but it ended in a crossfire flag-out.
[READ MORE: Mid-Roping Horsemanship Fix with Tyler Wade]
“It’s pretty early in the week to say anything, but that’s what I’m after—a piece of that average payoff on that last day we’re all here in Vegas,” said Wade, who lives in Terrell, Texas, and ironically roped at his first Finals with the guy he just matched for that Round 1 NFR milestone, Dakota K. “They say you better work on whatever you’re weak at, so I’m working on my consistency.”