AUSTIN, Texas – Rowdy Rieken and Ace Pearce made one of the fastest team roping times of the 2017 season and are currently leading the first round at Rodeo Austin (Texas) with the 3.8 time they made on March 16.
“Any time you can make a fast run at a big rodeo, it’s a confidence booster,” Pearce said. “We’ve been having bad luck this winter, and to back in there at Austin and win the first round is very uplifting.”
The first round at Rodeo Austin isn’t over yet, but odds are good that Rieken and Pearce’s 3.8 sealed the deal on getting them to the semifinal round.
“It was a blessing to get to have that moment,” Rieken said. “I don’t make it happen, I just backed in there and went at it as fast as I could, and had a good start, and had a good steer, and thankful to have a good horse. He (the steer) turned fast and my heeler roped him really fast and finished good – we are are blessed to be 3.8.”
“It dang sure feels good,” Pearce said. “The first round pays $5,000, which is great. If everything goes well, it will boost us in the standings quite a bit if we make the same runs in Austin we made last night.”
“You know, just like anywhere else, it’s good to be fast and win some money, and get some money in your pocket, and get a good feel for that rodeo; and come back in the semifinals and the finals and make two more good runs,” Rieken said. “It’s good to get started on the right foot anywhere you go.”
Rieken’s main roping horse was injured last winter, so he started out the year with a younger horse and wasn’t winning any rodeos with him. So, he started using his wife’s horse, Stump, earlier this week.
“He’s an orphan and we raised him – his mama died when he was five weeks old and we’ve had him his whole life,” Rieken said. “I rode him a long time and then me and my wife (Sissy) switched horses, so then I got back on him this week and he’s been a blessing.”
Pearce’s fastest rodeo-winning run of 2016 was a 4.2 with Chase Wiley as the header during the Parker County Sheriffs Posse Frontier Days and PRCA Rodeo in Weatherford, Texas, in June.
“That run at Weatherford was a kamikaze run – Chase threw a lot of rope and I heeled him fast and it was more out of control,” Pearce said. “But this (3.8-second) run we made last night was dang sure fast on both ends, but with a lot of control on it. Any time you are a 3, it’s a great feeling.”
Rieken’s fastest rodeo-winning run of 2016 was a 4.1 at the Amarillo (Texas) Tri-State Fair and Rodeo in September with Wesley Johnson as the heeler.
“They were both good runs, but the barrier is longer and there’s a bigger arena at Amarillo,” Rieken said. “But, as far as feel, it was close to the same kind of run. Both times had a good start and got it on fast and both heelers got it on as quick as they could and got a good finish. It always feels good to be a 4.0 or less.”
“Our steer (at Rodeo Austin) was good and straight down the middle,” Pearce said. “Rowdy turned him nice and we finished good, and made the best run we could on the steer we had. It was dang sure an uplifting run for that rodeo.”
“It feels great, especially considering how this winter has went.” Rieken said. “We hadn’t been successful – we roped good, but things hadn’t gone our way and it’s a good feeling for things to go your way and maybe end winter on a good note.”
“We have plenty of practice,” Pearce said, adding that they clocked in at 3.6 in an unsanctioned event. “I got high hopes for the playoff round and the finals.”
Courtesy of PRCA