OAKDALE, Calif. – After a decade of competing at the historic Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo, steer wrestler Sterling Lambert finally captured his first title at the event when he clocked a time of 10.4 seconds on two head.
“It just feels great and it’s always good to win, but to win a prestigious rodeo like this is pretty neat,” Lambert said.
The Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo is considered to be among the most historic rodeos in the country. Now, Lambert is joining the ranks of ProRodeo Hall of Famer Leo Camarillo, who won the Oakdale steer wrestling 1974, 1981-82.
“I’ve been wanting to win it a while,” the 30-year-old bulldogger said. “I’m sure glad to win it – I’ve been coming here since 2007.”
Lambert had the fastest time at the 2013 Oakdale rodeo with a 4.2, but was unable to claim the average that year.
This time was different for the Fallon, Nev., cowboy.
Lambert tied for second place in the first round with Billy Bugenig, as both bulldoggers clocked a time of 6.3 seconds – a mere tenth of a second behind Tyler Pearson’s 6.2, despite the arena’s muddy conditions.
“It seems like it gets muddy there every year and rains a bit, but the steers are fresh and there’s good bulldogging; the best in the world have won that rodeo,” Lambert said.
Lambert didn’t waste any time in the second round, landing a time of 4.1.
“It was pretty fast and slick,” Lambert said. “It firmed up a bit today, but it was still pretty sloppy. Everyone had to deal with it, so it was pretty fun. They did a good job of caring for the ground so it was safe for the horses.”
Lambert credited his hazer, Brad McGilchrist, for playing a key role in his success at Oakdale.
This year, Lambert partnered up with Clayton Morrison on an 11-year-old horse named Buzz, which has been his main competition horse for the 2017 season so far.
“He’s awesome, and that’s boosting my confidence,” Lambert said. “Hopefully we can just keep that rolling.
“They always say it’s easier to get in the Top 15 and stay there than it is to fight for it. I hope to get there before the spring is over and have a good summer.”
Summer of 2016 wasn’t kind to Lambert, as he suffered a knee injury that kept him out of competition for a couple of weeks. He ended the 2016 season ranked 20th in the WEATHER GUARD® PRCA World Standings with $53,360, only a few thousand shy of qualifying for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER.
“I came that close, so I know I can do it,” Lambert said.
Lambert has been hitting the rodeo road hard for the 2017 season, ranking 29th in the world standings with $12,255 prior to his latest win, which added an additional $3,356 to his total.
“This boosts me up a bit,” Lambert said. “I’m dang sure going to give it all I got and keep going.”
Up next, Lambert’s heading to the Clark County Fair & Rodeo in Logandale, Nev., which starts on Wednesday.
“They got the new 100-rodeo rule this year, so a guy’s going to have to go to a lot of rodeos to make it, so I’ll go to as many as I can and do good wherever I’m at,” Lambert said.
Other winners at the $99,696 rodeo were all-around cowboy Kyle Lucas ($2,445 in tie-down roping and team roping), bareback rider Steven Peebles (87.5 points on Four Star Rodeo’s Big Star), team ropers Cody Mora/Jason Johe (17.1 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Leon Fountain (82 points on Four Star Rodeo’s Starbucks), tie-down roper Clint Nyegaard (18.5 seconds on two head), barrel racer Rachel Dice (18.34 seconds) and bull rider Bryce Barrios (83 points on Four Star Rodeo’s Speculation).
For more coverage of the Oakdale Saddle Club Rodeo, check out the April 28 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.
Courtesy of PRCA