Bird, Eaves Close Gap with Horse Heaven Title

KENNEWICK, WASH. – With five weeks left in the regular season, team roping header Dustin Bird and heeler Paul Eaves are just trying to take advantage of every opportunity.

They certainly did that at the Aug. 20-23 Horse Heaven Round-Up, clocking a 9.1-second time to win the average on two head.

“We drew two really good steers, and Dustin did a good job and got out really good both times,” Eaves said. “I don’t think we did anything special, we just made two really good runs. We haven’t done that good this year yet as far as at one rodeo, but we made two really good runs (at Kennewick) and it just worked out.”

Bird and Eaves were the very soul of consistency, recording times of 4.5 and 4.6 seconds. They won the first round and tied for first in the second round with Levi Simpson and Ryon Tittel.

Thanks to their outstanding performance, Bird and Eaves each pocketed $6,793. Those checks will help Bird and Eaves close the gap on third-place header Trevor Brazile and heeler Travis Graves, who finished second in Kennewick with a two-head time of 9.5 seconds.

“That’s a nice check,” Eaves said about his Kennewick prize money. “That’s definitely something we need to do.”

Bird and Eaves had $72,096 and $75,007 in winnings, respectively, in the Aug. 18 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings. Bird and Eaves finished 13th in the world standings a year ago.

“We’re just trying to win as much money as we can, and try and put ourselves in as good a spot as we can going into the Finals,” Eaves said. “A lot of stuff has to come together right, but our horsepower is a big part of it.”

Eaves said he is riding a couple of horses – Cadillac and Chester – while Bird is competing on Dolly.

“Those horses don’t need a lot of training or anything,” Eaves said. “We just have to mainly let them rest.”

Other winners at the $160,320 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($3,740, tie-down roping and team roping), bareback riders Steven Peebles (82 points on Big Bend Rodeo’s Cougar Mountain) and Austin Foss (82 points on Flying 5 Rodeo’s Spy), steer wrestler John Franzen (8.1 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Heith DeMoss (84 points on Flying 5 Rodeo’s No. 312), tie-down roper Matt Shiozawa (14.4 seconds on two head), bull rider Roscoe Jarboe (88 points on Big Bend Rodeo’s No. 070) and barrel racer Christine Laughlin, (17.21 seconds).

Courtesy of PRCA