Third round at the Guymon (Oklahoma) Pioneer Days Rodeo.
Go-round and average win, worth $4,336 a man
The cattle at Guymon are all chute-run, and they bring a different set of fresh muleys every day. You don’t know what you have, and you have to look at them and see what you think they’ll do based on their conformation. He was smaller and fuzzier than the other ones, and he looked like he’d be good. He walked all the way to the line, and then he jumped.
I just throttled it when he jumped at the line. I barely got out, but it worked out good.
That was Burt, I’ve had him since I was in junior high. I’ve had him for a long time. He’s 15 years old. He can run really hard, and I like jackpotting on him. He’s strong to the horn. I thought for Guymon it would be good because I can run the steer down and get close to him if I need to. That horse is really athletic. I’ve never had one get on his back end so much. I want to keep him pushed up and out the front more. I’m holding him up and waiting on that steer. He’s just letting me hold him and he keeps the head really good. I have my left leg in him holding him up and I’m squeezing him forward and pushing forward with my left hand—crossing my hands through the corner.
We were trying to shave some seconds off, and I thought if we made a good run, I’d like to be mid-7 on the steer and that would give us a good chance to win in the top three holes. But then I got a really good go at him, and the run just came together fast. On all three of those runs, we were trying to just catch the steers as quickly as we could. We were riding for defense, and it worked out really well. Our horses were really good, so that’s what made that run fast. We practice making these kinds of runs on fresh cattle. We know that they’re going to take it weird sometimes. Both of us rope fast, so we work on our consistency all of the time. Our goal over there was to catch three without making a mistake. The first run, where the steer ran really hard, he was really wild. It was my first time there so I thought we weren’t doing very good coming into the third round. We gave ourselves a chance, and the steer trotted and I got a really good start. We won the round and the average, and if we would have tried to make something happen earlier in the week when it wasn’t ready to happen, it wouldn’t have been good.
Getting the Necks
I roped muleys a lot growing up, so I was comfortable. I just had my tip down and really went right toward him. You have to run to the steer better—you couldn’t be too wide. You have to run at them more and stay with your loop a little longer. Then you have to hold up and try to wait for them to wait to get their stride until you get them out of there. It’s important to get the rope tight before you go left on a fresh steer.
I have a hold of him, and I’m just picking up on him and waiting for him, to make sure his feet are square before I let my horse pull the steer. I’m making sure he stays on his feet and I’m keeping him pulled up. I’m trying not to jerk him down and not give Wesley (Thorp) too bad of a handle. I’m trying not to kill the momentum of the run.