THE RACE:

Horse & Rider - - Conformation Clinic -

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.

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