DERRICK AND I BEING IN THE ERA IN 2016 STRIPPED US OF EVERYTHING FOR 2017. WE WERE BASICALLY LIKE ROOKIES STARTING OVER.
you’re in the roping business and it’s what you do for a living, that’s a goal you need to achieve. Same goes for a lower-numbered roper who deems it necessary to go to the World Series Finale, USTRC Finals, ACTRA Finals, or another regional or amateur rodeo finals to call it a good year. You set that big, #1 goal, then figure out what it’s going to take to achieve it.
When I look back on 2017, Derrick (Begay) and I were behind from the start. I’d spent four years climbing to the top, and had the luxury of being qualified for all the winter rodeos, and in a position to be in the Champions Challenges. The top 10 also get to go to The American every year. You’re set up for the new year based on your last year’s performance.
Derrick and I being in the ERA in 2016 stripped us of everything for 2017. We were basically like rookies starting over. We couldn’t enter Denver. We couldn’t enter Fort Worth with each other, so we had to have other guys (Matt Sherwood and Joel Bach) bring us in. We couldn’t enter San Antonio or Austin. We couldn’t go to a lot of the events that count now, like our circuit finals.
Then, mid-summer, Derrick’s #1 horse got hurt. Then his second horse got hurt. My horse kept getting sore, too. It was just a real struggle. On the bright side, we did qualify for the buildings this coming winter. But my horse is 21 now, so I can probably only ride him at the good rodeos. Derrick’s in the same boat, and is trying horses, too.
We’ll do everything we can to give us the best shot at success this year. Then all we can do is take it one day at a time, and do our best.