As in the bareback riding, there’s only one world champion among the steer wrestlers at this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and that’s defending champ Tyler Waguespack. However, that might not be the best omen. In the past 25 years, there has only been one back-to-back champion in the sport: Luke Branquinho in 2011 and ’12.
Another clue might be a glance back at last year. Ty Erickson led the world standings, but not by much. Waguespack was third. This year, Erickson leads the standings by nearly $40,000 at the time of this writing. Again, Waguespack is third.
Last year, both men—and Clayton Hass—rode Sterling Wallace’s twotime PRCA/AQHA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year, Landrys Cadillac. Waguespack made $213,218 on him while Erickson only cashed in on $52,731.
The trends and signs certainly seem to contradict each other in the steer wrestling, making the prognostication that much more difficult.
To be clear, this is a 15-man race. But for the purposes of the nearly impossible task, we’ll only consider the reigning world champion and the current world standings leader. It’s been a long time since someone has dominated the steer wrestling regular season like Erickson has. Out-muscling the bulldogging competition all year is no small feat. Because of his dominant regular season, we think his momentum will carry over in December. Erickson’s the pick.