sibling power

Thomas Brothers Set Sights on 2024 Resistol Rookie of the Year Titles
Casey and Wyatt Thomas look to take home the 2024 Resistol Rookie Header and Heeler of the Year titles together.
Casey and Wyatt Thomas in 2023 at the Ute Stampede in Nephi, Utah. Casey headed for Taylor Winn and Wyatt heeled for Quinn Kesler. | Avid Visual Imagery photos

Casey and Wyatt Thomas have looked forward to the day they’d get to rope together for a living, and now the opportunity has presented itself, as well as a shot at the 2024 Resistol Rookie Header and Heeler of the Year titles.

The Cedar City, Utah, brothers lead the Resistol Rookie of the Year standings, Casey with $15,718.85 won on the head side and Wyatt with $17,413.68 in the heeling. Shooting for the Rookie of the Year titles together wasn’t always the plan, but they have late NFR qualifier Quinn Kesler to thank for the nudge.

“We never really planned it, and then when Quinn said we needed to rope together and try it, we kind of decided to,” Wyatt, 28, explained. “We figured we’d just take our shot and either go broke doing it or do something cool.”

Thanks, Quinn

Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and moving to Utah later, Casey and Wyatt have roped their entire lives, moving through every division from junior rodeo to college, and now ProRodeo.

Casey, 24, used to heel, so it wasn’t until he started heading in college and felt like he was advancing that he knew he wanted to rodeo professionally. Wyatt, on the other hand, has known since he was little that that is what he wanted to do.

“I’ve known ever since I was a little kid, but I didn’t think I was good enough until a few years ago when people would start kind of saying something,” Wyatt said.

In 2023, the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself to Wyatt as Kesler called him asking if he wanted to heel for him.

“How do you turn down a chance to rope with a guy like him?” Wyatt said. “It took us a minute to start catching our steers, but once we started catching, we got along pretty good and roped really well together.”

Younger brother Casey and his partner Taylor Winn buddied and traveled with Kesler and Wyatt. Kesler made quite the impression on the Thomas brothers, not only encouraging them to rope together but also giving Casey the confidence he needed to go for Rookie Header of the Year.

“I’ve done pretty good the last two years, and I got to buddy with Quinn last year,” Casey explained. “He kind of told me I was a real header, and that just kind of gave me the confidence to want to go do it.”

A year full of excitement

Casey and Wyatt kicked off their sibling partnership at the Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo in Heber City, Utah, last November where they picked up a check in the third round, followed by winning the average at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo Timed Event Qualifier in Denver in December for $1,799 a man.

The Wilderness Circuit boys have since hit the road, picking up their biggest checks at La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros in Tucson, Arizona, and the Clark County Fair & Rodeo in Logandale, Nevada. Casey and Wyatt pocketed $6,051 in Tucson in February and $3,228 in Logandale in April.

READ: Where Are They Now? See How Former Resistol Rookies Are Faring in 2023

Their summer run may look a little different than they expected, however, as Wyatt is expecting his first baby in July. Wyatt expects they’ll miss the Cheyenne Frontier Days or Casey may enter some rodeos with someone else while Wyatt is home. His girlfriend, Cassidy, is fully supportive of him rodeoing up until labor.

“Our circuit’s good enough that if we just keep catching our cows, placing and let the money come to us, we should be ok,” Wyatt explained. “The only downfall is he’s due right around Salt Lake and all that, right around the 24th run. But, my girlfriend said, ‘Go rodeo, and we’ll call you when I go into labor and we’ll make it work.’ I got it way too easy with her.”

Looking toward the future

Casey and Wyatt recognize the prestige behind the Resistol rookie of the Year titles and have their eyes steadily fixed on the goal ahead of them.

“It’s one of those deals that only one person a year gets it, kind of like the world title,” Casey said. “You only get one chance to do it, so that just makes it a little more special.”

Their dreams for their rookie year don’t stop there; Casey and Wyatt both want to make the NFR, and it would be even more special if they could do it their rookie year. With day jobs—Casey trains rope horses and Wyatt drives truck for Mel Clark Inc.—and a baby on the way for Wyatt, they understand it may not be the easiest.

“I don’t know that we rodeo hard enough to make the Finals, but I think it’d be pretty cool to make the Finals our rookie year,” Wyatt said. “But it’s kind of hard having a job and a kid on the way to try and make the Finals. Hopefully we just win enough at these bigger rodeos that it could play into it.”

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