BELLVILLE, Texas – For 27 years, Martin Lucero has been one of the best heelers in team roping. He’s qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 16 times in his career.
But at age 50, he’s contemplating his next step in the sport.
“I’m getting older now, and I’m not sure I’m going to run hard next year,” said Lucero, who stopped the clock in 4.7 seconds Thursday night to take the team roping lead at the Austin County Fair and Rodeo with his header, Cory Kidd V of Statesville, N.C. “I’m still on the fence about it. I’ve got two daughters, one that’s a junior in high school and one that’s in second grade, so I like being home, too.
“It’s nice to be able to come to a good rodeo like this and still go home.”
It was an easy decision to make the seven-hour trip to Bellville.
“These rodeos have gotten better as far as the added money,” Lucero said, referring to the local money that’s mixed with contestants’ entry fees to make up the purse. “You can win a lot more money than we used to.”
Bellville’s rodeo takes place in the second week of the 2019 rodeo season, so this is a good way to catch some early money and get a jump on the field if possible. That’s one of the reasons Kidd likes competing at this event.
“I catch; I’m winning now, and I’ve won it before,” said Kidd, who set the arena record of 3.8 seconds two years. “They get a bunch of people. It’s a good atmosphere, and I like it.”
Kidd and Lucero don’t compete together often, but they made an exception for a few Texas rodeos this time of year. While Kidd is from North Carolina, he spends quite a bit of time at Lucero’s home, so it was a natural fit.
“Some people are ready to go home and rest after the regular season ends, but I’m ready to get back after it,” Kidd said. “You never know; the money you win here might be what pushes you over the edge and gets you to the NFR.”
Lucero knows that as well as anyone. He’s been to Bellville’s rodeo almost all of his nearly three decades of competing, and he’s won the title before
“This is a good rodeo, and it’s a good one that’s in our circuit,” he said of the Texas Circuit. I like the set-up, and it gets a good crowd every night. This is a new year, and the circuit finals is obviously the goal. As hard as it is to win in this competitive circuit, it’s good to win early.”
Austin County Fair and Rodeo
Bareback riding: 1. Blade Elliott, 77.5 points on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Booger; 2. Sandro Ferretti, 74.5; 3. Tyler David Johnson, 73; 4. (tie) Paden Hurst and Luke Wozney, 70; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Heath Thomas, 4.5 seconds; 2. Lucas Brasfield, 4.6; 3. Sam Powers, 4.7; 4. Dakota Stermer, 5.2; 5. Tom Uttermar, 6.2; 6. T.J. Hall, 7.3.
Team roping: 1. Cory Kidd V/Martin Lucero, 4.7 seconds; 2. Caleb Mitchell/Seth Smithson, 4.9 3. (tie) Garett Chick/Ross Ashford and Landon McClaugherty/Case Swaim, 5.0; 5. Tanner Tomlinson/Corey Hedrick, 5.1; 6. Shane Phillip/John Phillip, 6.2; 7. Manny Eguesquiza Jr./York Gill, 14.0; no other qualified times.
Saddle bronc riding: No qualified rides.
Tie-down roping leaders: 1. Cody Lawrence, 8.4 seconds; 2. De Andre Jackson, 8.6; 3. Lane Livingston, 8.8; 4. Austin Atkinson, 9.5; 5. Coley Salge, 9.8; 6. Trenton Smith, 9.9; 7. Carson Jeffrey, 10.1; 10. Reno Gonzales, 10.3.
Barrel racing leaders: 1. Chloe Gray, 16.18 seconds; 2. Kelly Carrington, 16.19; 3. Tiany Schuster, 16.20; 4. Melinda Edwards Dunn, 16.26; 5. Cheyenne Wimberley, 16.27; 6. (tie) Ericka Nelson, Taci Bettis and Jill Wilson, 16.32; 9. Alex Lang, 16.35; 10. (tie) Shelley Morgan and Ivy Hurst, 16.39; 12. Jimmie Smith, 16.41. s
Steer roping: First round: 1. (tie) J. tom Fisher and Vin Fisher Jr., 10.2 seconds, $925 each; 3. Cole Patterson, 10.3, $633; 4. Tony Reina, 10.4, $489; 5. Trenton Johnson, 10.8, $314; 6. (tie) Mike Chase and Travis Mills, 10.9, $87 each. Second round: 1. (tie) Laramie Allen and Brodie Poppino, 10.0 seconds, $925 each; 3. Landon McClaugherty, 10.7; 4. Trenton Johnson, 10.9, $489; 5. Corey Ross, 11.0, $314; 6. Cody Lee, 11.2, $175. Average: 1. Vin Fisher Jr., 21.5 seconds on two runs, $1,519; 2. Trenton Johnson, 21.7, $1,257; 3. John E. Bland, 22.3, $995; 4. Mike Chase, 23.0, $733; 5. Bryce Davis, 23.1, $471; 6. Travis Mills, 23.5, $262.
Bull riding: 1. (tie) Jeff Askey, on Mo Betta Rodeo’s Junior, and Jesse Petri, on Mo Betta Rodeo’s 507, 77 points; 3. Clayton Sellars, 76; no other qualified rides.
Courtesy of twisTEDrodeo.com