Taking Your First Shot with Wesley Thorp
Wesley Thorp


High call at the Spicer Gripp


42.88 seconds on six head



Game Plan

We were high call and had to be mid-8 to win the roping. There, if you draw a strong steer, you have to make a good run to be 8. So we had plenty of time, as long as we didn’t draw a strong one. We knew second paid good and, if Tyler Wade happened to hang it on one to be 5 or 6 at second call, we could play it safe if we needed to. Since we just had to be mid-8, it worked out that we should be able to do our job and win the roping. 


Cody (Snow) made sure he got out, and then that steer kept letting up. He ended up being really, really good.  


When Cody caught up to him, I knew I’d have plenty of time. I tried to hold my spot and maintain momentum through the corner. I wanted to keep swinging my rope until the shot presented itself. 

First Shot

This steer ended up being good to heel. I saw my first shot and took it. Cody went all the way to him and had him on a short rope, tight to the saddle horn and that horse of Cody’s framed the steer up really good. He had fluid momentum through the corner, and he kept him moving. That steer stayed in the same speed the whole way through the turn.  

Left Hand

I normally like to have more between my hands than I do here, but that was the end of my delivery so I’m coming back to grab the slack to get all my rope out. At that time of the summer, after being at the rodeos and having to throw fast on every steer, my thought process when I went home to practice before the Gripp was to really finish my delivery. I was over-exaggerating to where I could get a good finish here. 


I want my feet in the middle of my horse, where I’m squeezing him up through the stop. I kind of abandoned him a stride early in this picture. That steer was so easy to heel, so when I delivered I took my feet out of my horse and they’re farther back. I’m trying to stay with my horse through his stop and keep my weight in the middle. 


That’s Curly. I had just bought him from Hunter Koch three weeks prior to that, right before Salinas. He’s a brand-new addition. He came from Andy Holcomb, and they showed him on both ends at the futurity. He has a lot of run, and he’s really smooth with everything he does. He’s very broke and has good timing. He’s easy for the jackpots. That horse is forgiving in his stop because of how he comes off the steer. He stops very correct and lets you place your loop all the way. This time of year, your rodeo horses are tight, and it’s nice to have one that’s a little more forgiving and easy to get through the roping in that setup. He’s like that almost every time.

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