by ProRodeo.com | Jan 11, 2016
ODESSA, Texas – Few cowboys have had a better start to 2016 than steer roper Shane Suggs.
The 40-year-old from Granbury, Texas, captured perhaps the biggest win of his rodeo career Jan. 10 when he won the average title at the Sandhills Stock Show & Rodeo with a time of 46.0 seconds on four head – 2.1 seconds better than reserve Odessa titlist and reigning World Champion Trevor Brazile.
“It’s the first major rodeo that I’ve ever won,” said Suggs, who earned a total of $7,638. “I’ve placed at places like Cheyenne, San Antonio and Sheridan (Wyo.), but this is probably at the top of my wins.”
Suggs qualified for his only Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping in 2009. Since then, he’s rodeoed off and on while working in retail sales for Teskey’s Saddle Shop in Weatherford, Texas.
The win at Odessa was more than just a big paycheck for Suggs. Coming out on top against a list of competitors which included Brazile, Vin Fisher, Chet Herren, JoJo LeMond and Scott Snedecor had Suggs on Cloud 9.
“Anytime you can even have your name mentioned in that class of guys, it’s a huge confidence booster,” he said. “The cool part about Odessa is that I wasn’t just competing against the top guys who are going now, but also some of the legends of the sport like (18-time World Champion) Guy Allen and Todd Casebolt.”
Suggs placed second in the first round, tied for eighth in the second round and was fourth in the third round. He played it safe in the fourth round, which allowed him to comfortably clinch the average title.
Suggs’ win was made more improbable by the fact that he was riding a horse on which he had never competed before.
His primary horse, Mr. Anderson, recently had surgery and is out until March, so Suggs borrowed his good friend Bryce Davis’ horse, Harley.
“My goal was to do well enough at Odessa to qualify for San Antonio,” Suggs said. “This was the first rodeo I’ve ever ridden Harley at, and I asked Bryce even before we left Odessa if I could ride Harley again, and he said I could any time.
“The last couple of years I just haven’t had the horsepower. I didn’t have one that would give me a chance to compete with guys like Trevor, Scott and Chet. You can’t win a NASCAR race in a Honda – you need to have the horsepower.”
With the horsepower needed to win, a big confidence boost and a nice paycheck to start the 2016 season, Suggs says he’s re-evaluating whether or not to make a run at a second NFSR.
“Four or five people have already asked me if I’m planning on making another run, and I say it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Suggs said. “I’ll talk with my wife (Malaika, daughter of 1976 NFSR qualifier Gerry Tully) and we’ll make a plan on what I’m going to do. She’s very supportive of me rodeoing, and has as big of a love for rodeo and horses as I do.”
Courtesy of PRCA