By Ted Harbin/for the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo committee
GUYMON, Okla. – Jason Thomas is ready to return home.
Thomas makes his living on the rodeo trail, a pathway that takes ProRodeo cowboys down a winding path that crisscrosses North America. On Saturday night during the third performance of the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo, he put on quite a show and can return to Benton, Ark., on a high note.
“I’ve been in California for a month, so I’m ready to go home for a while before we head out for the summer,” said Thomas, who posted a 3.6-second run to take the third-round lead in steer wrestling. “I had a really good steer today; Jason Lahr ran that steer and was 4.3, and Stan (Branco) came back and was 4.5.
“I was 12th-13th coming back, so I knew I had to run at it for the round and try to place in the average.”
Pioneer Days Rodeo features three go-rounds in team roping, tie-down roping and steer wrestling, with money paid in each round and for the top cumulative times in the three-round aggregate. Thomas sits fourth with a total time of 16.2 seconds; if that holds, he’ll likely collect another good check out of the Oklahoma Panhandle.
“This is the best winter I’ve ever had,” he said, noting that he started competing full time two seasons ago after competing at Panola Community College in Carthage, Texas, and McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La.
Thomas has considerable support for his business, from his primary mount, Frosty, to his traveling partner, 2013 world champion Hunter Cure.
“I’ve had Frosty since the ninth grade,” he said of the 17-year-old gelding. “He was my heeling horse and the first horse I ever hazed on when I was about 13, so I’ve had him a long time.
“It’s been a big help for me to go with Hunter. I feel better about my situations. You can’t pay for that kind of knowledge and help going up and down the road.”
While Thomas has been flourishing through the early part of the season, bareback rider Ty Breuer of Mandan, N.D., is just getting back to business. The 2013 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier suffered a broken back at Denver nearly four months ago and has been on the sideline since then. His ride Saturday was the first since January.
It worked out pretty well, too. Breuer matched moves with Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Good Time Charlie for 87 points to take the bareback riding lead.
“Anytime you can get along with one of the best horses around, it’s a big confidence booster,” he said. “I knew that horse would just be good. That’s the perfect horse to come back on.”
Courtesy of PRCA