Cassidy Plays the Waiting Game, Then Wins Reno

RENO, Nev. – Curtis Cassidy is now a firm believer of the saying “what’s worth having, is worth waiting for.”

The Donalda, Alberta, steer wrestler was up the first day of the Reno Rodeo on June 20, and the two times he posted that day were not only good enough to qualify for the June 28 short round, but were fast enough to place him first heading into the finals.

“It’s good and bad to be leading going into the last day,” said Cassidy, who also won the all-around in Reno. “You always want to come in leading it, because it means you’re in the driver’s seat, but at the same time, when you’re leading you don’t want to mess up and lose it. Trying to stay focused and be aggressive when you’re in the driver’s seat is one of the hardest things in sports to do.”

Cassidy, 35, handled the pressure just fine, putting up a time of 5.1 seconds in the finals to win the average at 12.8 seconds on three head. He earned a total of $11,297 in Reno.

“You never know how it’s going to hold up,” Cassidy said of his times from the first two rounds. “I was lucky enough that it held up until the very end, and I was able to win the rodeo eight days later. There was a lot of anticipation this week while I was wondering if my times would hold up.”

To occupy himself during the week while he waited to see where he’d be slotted in Reno, the four-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier went to Wainwright (Alberta), Ponoka (Alberta) and Williams Lake (British Columbia), and then flew back to Reno Friday night.

Cassidy’s 3.5-second run won the first round, and he tied for sixth in the second round. After entering the week 20th in the world, Cassidy will move into the top 10 as the summer run begins.

“It’s great to come here and win this kind of money at the start of the summer,” he said. “It gets your summer started off on the right foot and gives you money to help you keep going down the road for the rest of the summer. Rodeo is kind of like the weather – you’re always a week away from a major drought or a hot streak. So you can’t ride the highs too high, or the lows too low.”

Cassidy’s great uncle, Lyle Smith, has lived in Reno for most of his life, and although he couldn’t be there Saturday night, Cassidy dedicated winning the coveted silver spurs to Smith.

“He made the NFR in bronc riding three times,” Cassidy said of Smith. “He couldn’t make it here tonight, but some of his grandkids were here, so it was cool to win this. Winning this rodeo is right on the top of my list of accomplishments. It’s one I’ve wanted to win for a long time.”

Other winners at the $494,547 rodeo were bareback rider Kaycee Feild (253 points on three head), team ropers Tom Richards and Monty Joe Petska (17.5 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Bradley Harter (236 points on three head), tie-down roper Trent Walls (28.6 seconds on three head), bull rider Zeb Lanham (85 points) and barrel racer Christine Laughlin (51.35 seconds on three runs).

It’s the third Reno title in six years for Feild (2009, 2012) and the second for Harter (2010).

Courtesy of PRCA