Dear Rookie: Words of Wisdom from 5 Former Resistol Rookies
Former Resistol Rookies reveal their secrets to surviving first-ever summer runs, where PRCA rookie contenders learn just how long the season really is.
Jeff Flenniken earned the 2018 Resistol Rookie of the Year heading honor.

In a tough-as-ever Resistol Rookie of the Year field, a brand-new crop of ProRodeo team ropers are testing their mettle against the veterans—occasionally partnering with them, too, like header Kolby Krieger has done with eight-time World Champion Rich Skelton.

Other Resistol Rookie of the Year contenders are putting up a strong showing at events such as the Greeley Stampede, where Mason Appleton and Cooper Freeman scooped up a No. 2 finish. The current No. 1 heeler on the Great Lakes Circuit is Clay Clayman, who is also leading both the rookie heeling and all-around races.

The 2023 class of rookies possess great grit and talent, but the rodeo road is long. The Team Roping Journal rounded up Resistol Rookies of years past to give sage advice for those taking on the summer run for the first time.

Be confident

“Be confident and do the job you have prepared to do. If it works then it was meant to be, if it doesn’t then it wasn’t meant to be. Got to try and keep confidence in yourself even when it’s not going how you want.”

Jeff Flenniken, 2018 Resistol Rookie Header of the Year


“My one piece of advice is make sure to do your job and learn from your mistakes, and don’t be afraid to ask the veteran guys questions.”

Nelson Wyatt, 2017 Resistol Rookie of the Year: All Around and Heading


“Stay positive and catch steers. It’s easy to try to do too much and take risky shots that don’t always work. I think it’s easier to win and stay out of a slump if I’m making sure I’m catching the steers.”

Ross Ashford, 2018 Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year

Take care of business

“Take care of business: from entering, traveling, roping practice and horse care. The best guys are on top of everything when it comes down to it. There’s a lot of things in this sport we cannot control, so taking care of the things you can are extremely important.”

Tyler Wade, 2012 Resistol Rookie Header of the Year

Take care of you, your horses

“Keep your horses working good through the summer. Don’t get caught up riding the wave, because there’s going to be a lot of lows, and that’s what keeps people from being one of the top guys. The key is to handle the situation you’ve been delt and keep yourself together. If not, it will be a long summer and things will go downhill.”

Tanner Tomlinson, 2020 Resistol Rookie Header of the Year

The Team Roping Journal is the source for ProRodeo coverage all season long, from the riveting world race to circuit standings updates, event coverage and, thanks to our friends at Resistol, updates from the PRCA’s Resistol Rookie race.

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