SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. – Trevor Knowles ended a mini-slump and solidified his spot atop the steer wrestling rankings by winning the Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo that ended here Aug. 24.
Knowles was up Saturday in the two-day rodeo and set the bar high with a 3.3-second run that held up for the victory, earning him a check of $5,295. He was a half-second faster than runner-up Tyler Waguespack, who pocketed $4,738.
“A tenth (of a second) is worth a mile,” Knowles said. “This is a good time of year to win, and that’s a great rodeo to win. The run felt fast, and it was one I needed.”
Knowles led the Aug. 20 Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings with $78,266 – that was $12,274 ahead of injured Luke Branquinho and $13,250 ahead of third-place Dru Melvin.
But Knowles was frustrated with most of his recent performances.
“The last couple of weeks I hadn’t won much,” he said Sunday night while driving home to Mount Vernon, Ore. “I’d place third or fourth on one a week, but that isn’t too good out of five rodeos.”
Knowles did take second behind Bray Armes at the Aug. 19 Horse Heaven Wrangler Champions Challenge, presented by Justin Boots, in Kennewick, Wash. That earned him a check for $4,160. But he was disappointed he didn’t win more at the Kennewick rodeo, where he tied for sixth in the first round, just three-tenths behind the leader.
“I broke the barrier on my second run, or I could’ve won the (Horse Heaven Round-Up) average at the rodeo,” he said. “I was kicking dirt clods.”
He tried to stay positive, even though he hadn’t drawn well for a few weeks.
“A guy goes through those dry spells, and then it turns, all of a sudden. I drew well this week at Kennewick, and at San Juan Capistrano. I dang sure felt I dropped the ball at Kennewick by breaking the barrier, but I wasn’t going to back off the next day in San Juan Capistrano, and it worked out.”
His cousin, 31-year-old Blake Knowles, who sat 14th in the most recent world standings, said Trevor has all the tools to win his first gold buckle.
“His mental game is spot on,” said Blake, who was competing Sunday at the Colorado State Fair & Rodeo in Pueblo, Colo., after also being in Kennewick and San Juan Capistrano. “He’s talented physically, and he’s really athletic, but his mental game is just as good. So he’s got the trifecta.”
Trevor Knowles, 33, has qualified for the last 10 Wrangler National Finals Rodeos, and went into last year’s Super Bowl of rodeo in second place. He ended up sixth in the world after placing 11th in the average at the Finals, despite winning Round 1 and placing in three other rounds.
“I’ve had a couple of chances for a gold buckle,” he said. “It’d be nice to go in there with a cushion this year.”
The other winners in this $217,602 rodeo – the PRCA’s richest two-day event – were bareback rider Tilden Hooper (85 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Comanchero), team ropers Aaron Tsinigine and Cole Davison (4.2 seconds), saddle bronc rider Cort Scheer (87 points on Big Bend Rodeo’s Shady Lady), tie-down roper Clint Cooper (7.6 seconds) and bull rider Wesley Silcox (83 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Wolf Deer).
Courtesy of PRCA