Catching Close: Nelson Wyatt Breaks Down a Rancho Rio Run

Nelson Wyatt breaks down a "have-to-catch" situation at Rancho Rio.

Andersen CBarC Photography


Short-round steer at Rancho Rio


8.43 seconds, 26.99 seconds on four head


Average win worth $20,280


Cole Curry

A) SITUATION: I didn’t really know that steer. We were high callback, and I wasn’t really paying attention. The short round had fallen apart, and I knew Clay Smith was second call and he had to be 8 to take the lead. I knew if we were clean, we’d win. And that steer had pretty short horns. So I was trying to get up there close and get the neck.

[READ MORE: Nelson Wyatt’s Grizzly Head Horse]

B) TRICKY SPOT: On the way to that steer, he started stepping into me. I got another extra swing in just to make sure I got him. In a have-to-catch situation, time isn’t really of the essence. I’m trying to get up there and match the speed of the steer. I’m trying to get my tip down because I knew I was getting a neck. I want to get comfortable and make sure I’m not rushing anything.

C) USING THE HORSE: I was really close, so when I roped, I had my horse (13-year-old “Colt”) in a different timing than we’d had all day because I had been reaching. When I put it on that one, my horse was up there free. I made him step up and out because I was a little narrow. I didn’t have to do a lot of slowing down when I dallied. I had him picked up already. I’m a little out the front to keep him rolling. If I’d have stopped and came back, the steer would have hit down the arena and had no timing.

[READ MORE: Nelson Wyatt and Tyler Worley Win Texas Circuit Titles]

D) SLACK: As close as I was, I’ve got more rope there than I normally do, so I have to make sure I get all my slack out. With reaching all day prior, I didn’t have to pull nearly as far.

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