Sil­ver Stan­dard

Cody Snow and Wes­ley Thorp win the Reno Rodeo from sev­enth call­back.

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Contents - by Chelsea Toy

Hot off a CNFR win, Wes­ley Thorp heeled three steers for Cody Snow in 16.1 sec­onds to win the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo. ProRodeo young guns and 2016 WNFR qual­i­fiers Snow and Thorp re­ceived the cov­eted sil­ver spurs from the Reno com­mit­tee and jumped into the top ten in the PRCA world stand­ings with the win.

In June 2016, Wes­ley Thorp won the Col­lege Na­tional Fi­nals with Cole Wheeler. Then he went on to take the Bob Feist In­vi­ta­tional ti­tle with Zac Small. The team rop­ing world mar­veled at his feat. Again, in 2017, we stand back and can’t help but think: What a week!

Thorp again won the CNFR heel­ing ti­tle with Wheeler Satur­day night (see page 64), and then, on that famed third Mon­day in June, had a BIG day in Reno. Ex­cept that day wasn’t in the Reno Live­stock Cen­ter’s in­door this year. One lucky set of guys gets to rope their first two steers at the Reno Rodeo dur­ing the Bob Feist In­vi­ta­tional, and this year was Snow and Thorp’s turn. So while they didn’t have the same luck at the BFI this year (a leg in the sec­ond round and a no-time in the fourth), they were able to get their first two Reno Rodeo steers stretched in 11.5 sec­onds to come back sev­enth in the av­er­age be­hind a field of hard hit­ters—in­clud­ing Chad Mas­ters and Travis Graves at high call and the smok­ing hot duo of Gar­rett Rogers and Jake Mi­nor at sec­ond call­back.

“Our first steer came left pretty hard,” Snow said. “I had to set him up where we could get fin­ished. Our sec­ond steer was good and we made a good run to come back good in the av­er­age.”

Snow rode his buck­skin mare, An­nie, to set up the shot and let Thorp tee off on each steer. Thorp rode his bay horse, 14-year-old Rudy, on the first two steers, but opted for his steady eddy, 13-yearold Den­nis, in the short round.

“I’ve been rid­ing my bay quite a bit lately,” Thorp said, call­ing be­tween steers at the Wain­wright (Alb.) Stam­pede. “I’ve been rid­ing him, so I wanted to bring

him to Canada af­ter the sec­ond steer at Reno. I left my roan in Reno for the short go. Turns out, I’ve been mount­ing out in Canada be­cause my bay got stuck at the bor­der. My pa­per­work wasn’t 100-per­cent cor­rect. My roan is pretty clutch. I know him re­ally well. I had a full year rodeo­ing on him last year. I tried to take good care of him this win­ter. Last year, he got ev­ery sin­gle steer. This year, I’ve been able to take the load off of him with a few dif­fer­ent horses. I left him there for the spring to get ready for the sum­mer. I feel com­fort­able on him. He came from Tyson Thompson. I’ve had him a year and a half. Tyson rode him some, but he didn’t re­ally fit his style. He’s kind of short-strided. I have a small loop, and it fits good with him.”

By the time the short round rolled around, Thorp had al­ready done all right at Reno’s table games and was ready for more ac­tion in the arena. They knew they’d drawn well head­ing into a tight short round that had only 1.6 sec­onds be­tween first and last call­back. Aaron Tsinig­ine and Ryan Motes ran Snow and Thorp’s short round steer in round one and were 5.3; Billy Bob Brown and Lo­gan Medlin had him in the sec­ond round to be 5.8 or 5.9, Thorp said.

“Cody got a re­ally good start and did a good job head­ing him,” Thorp said. “My roan let me get around him to take an ag­gres­sive throw. Our run fin­ished re­ally good. It was a re­ally tight short go. We were like sev­enth call­back but the first three calls had us by a sec­ond, and other than that it was just within a cou­ple tenths. Cody and I are more ag­gres­sive any­way. I thought if we could be ag­gres­sive we’d have a chance to re­ally move

up, but we didn’t want to do any­thing stupid ei­ther. It pays so good to win any hole there. I wanted to be a lit­tle more ag­gres­sive and give our­selves a chance. I thought with us draw­ing that good and mak­ing a good run that we’d move up. I was sur­prised that we ended up win­ning it. Watch­ing it, I thought there were a few good runs made that could have moved us.”

Snow and Thorp got the flag in 4.6 sec­onds, and the short round quickly fell apart af­ter they put the pres­sure on the top teams. They watched at the back of the arena as team af­ter team dropped off, and be­fore they knew it they were re­ceiv­ing Reno’s cov­eted sil­ver tro­phy spurs for their time of 16.1 sec­onds on three head. Come Mon­day morn­ing, $8,174 was in each man’s bank ac­count for win­ning the av­er­age and the short round at Reno.

“We made a good enough run that we knew they’d need to make pretty good runs to beat us,” Snow said.

The ag­gres­sive style that Snow and Thorp used to win Reno has paid off for them all win­ter. Be­fore the Fourth of July, Snow had $55,875 won and Thorp had net­ted $56,658, both sit­ting firmly inside the top 10 in the PRCA world stand­ings. Two young guns don’t of­ten team up and go to­gether in just their third year in ProRodeo com­pe­ti­tion, but so far so good for th­ese 2016 Wran­gler Na­tional Fi­nals Rodeo qual­i­fiers.

“Cody and I have been good friends for a long time,” Thorp said. “We jack­pot­ted to­gether and we kind of talked and had some of the same goals and ideas. Zac (Small) is in vet school. I re­ally wanted to rope with Cody, and it worked out to where we could. We’ve missed the books at one or two places. And we’ve had help, and we bud­died with Matt Sher­wood and Walt Woodard over the Fourth. That helped us there. For the most part, we haven’t had much trou­ble.”

Snow’s and Thorp’s youth has served them well, as both truly en­joy the gru­el­ing rodeo life.

“I like go­ing,” Snow said. “I like when we’re con­stantly go­ing. I don’t like sit­ting around very much. On the down time, I get bored. I’m not good at down time. I think I have ADHD. I like al­ways do­ing stuff so I don’t get dis­tracted.”

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