RAPID CITY, S.D. – Steer wrestler Chason Floyd acknowledged mentally wasn’t ready to compete at the Rodeo Rapid City.
Floyd was dealing with the loss of his grandmother, Ella Hafner, who he was very close to. Hafner passed away Jan. 19 at the age of 98.
“I was headed down to slack at Fort Worth (Texas), I was almost to Oklahoma and I got a call from the doctors and they told me she was in the hospital,” Floyd said. “I turned around and headed back. I got to talk to her and she died the next day. I didn’t feel like rodeoing after that happened.”
With his emotions still raw, Floyd chose to go compete at Rodeo Rapid City (Jan. 28-Feb. 4) – and it proved to be a wise choice.
Floyd won the rodeo by stopping the clock at 4.2 seconds at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
“I really feel like my grandmother was watching over me and was with me,” said Floyd, 28. “She was like a second mom to me for years. The steer kind of shouldered away from me a little bit, but it ended up working out good for me. I was pretty tickled about everything.”
Three years ago, Hafner moved from Ludlow, S.D., to Buffalo, S.D., to live in an assisted-living facility opened by Chason’s wife, Jesika.
Tiger, 14, provided the horsepower for Floyd, who left Rapid City with $3,751 in earnings.
Floyd’s performance was even more impressive since it was his first rodeo action since he broke a bone in the arch of his right foot in July at Spanish Fork, Utah.
“It was a nagging injury that wasn’t healing right and when I finally went to the doctor in December they put me in a walking boot for about five weeks and that really seemed to help, and it was really cool to win this,” said Floyd, who made his winning run Feb. 2 in Rapid City.
A year ago, Floyd finished 42nd in the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings with $25,775.
“It wasn’t the year I wanted but it is what it is, and I’m hoping to get on a heater now,” he said. “I was in Bismarck, N.D., (Saturday) and then I will be San Angelo (Texas, Feb.7-8) and San Antonio (9-11).”
When Floyd isn’t on the rodeo trail, he works with his wife at the assisted-living facility, ranches with his family and does some construction, but making it to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER is front on center on his mind.
“I just have to go and I have to stay positive, and when you don’t do well, you have to move to the next one,” Floyd said. “That has been the hardest thing for me over the years. It’s a mental game. You look at guys like Tyler Waguespack and Ty Erickson and those top guys who make it, they go into the box and they know they are the best. They have that figured out. That’s the hardest part of rodeoing, mentally preparing yourself each time. It would be a dream if I could make it to the Finals.”
Other winners at the $180,831 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($5,131, tie-down roping and team roping), bareback rider Ty Breuer (86 points on Sutton Rodeos’ Pulp Fiction), team ropers Wenceslao Aguilera/Cody Hogan and Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp (4.2 seconds each), saddle bronc rider Shorty Garrett (85.5 points on Sutton Rodeos’ Prom Night), tie-down roper Tyler Prcin (8.2 seconds), barrel racer Jessica Leach (12.68 seconds) and bull rider Jeff Bertus, (84.5 points on New Frontier Rodeo’s Ur Next).
For more coverage of the Rodeo Rapid City, check out the Feb. 17 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA