WACO, Texas – Over the last couple of years, Cory Solomon has been (just barely) on the outside looking in at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Rather than dwell on his back-to-back 16th-place finishes, Solomon has kept striving to prove he’s one of the top tie-down ropers in the PRCA.
The 24-year-old Prairie View, Texas, cowboy did just that at the Jan. 1-3 RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo.
Solomon recorded a 24.9-second time on three head to win the average at the Extraco Events Center.
“This was a great deal to win because there were only two guys in the field who haven’t qualified for the NFR,” Solomon said. “Texas is the toughest circuit so to win, so this average really means a lot. This is really good for my confidence.”
This is the first time Solomon has won the RTCFR and by capturing the title he qualified for the RAM National Circuit Finals on March 25-28 at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Fla.
“This is my first time to ever qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo and it will be my first time to go to Florida,” Solomon said. “I’m really excited to get to go.”
The source of Solomon’s struggles late in the 2014 season was the passing of his primary horse, Bruzina, 14, in September. Couple that with his secondary horse Spook being injured and Solomon was in a bind.
“I rode Bruzina at the Finals in 2011 and I rode him in 2012 during the regular season,” said Solomon, who qualified for the Wrangler NFR both years. “The two times I made the Finals it was pretty much because I rode him. (Bruzina) got sick with 16 rodeos to go last season and Spook, who I rode at the 2012 National Finals, got hurt in July of last year so I was pretty much horseless.”
According to Solomon, Spook, 14, got healthy this past October and he was in top form at the RTCFR.
“I was trying to get a few runs on him at the Texas Circuit Finals so he and I could get back on the same page, because I’m up at Odessa (Jan. 5),” Solomon said. “I wanted to get clicking with him so we are ready to start the (2015) season off right. He worked great at the Texas Circuit Finals. He was phenomenal all three runs. We were on the same page.”
Solomon was consistent throughout the three days in Waco. He was third in the first round with a 9.6-second run, and was second in the second round with an 8.4-second time.
Solomon had his best run of 7.3 seconds to win the third round and the average. He pocketed $5,221 for his performance.
“I’m one of those guys who will not give up,” Solomon said, “and I regrouped and I’m really happy with how I did at the Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo.”
Other winners at the $135,671 rodeo were bareback rider Matt Bright (248 points on three head), steer wrestler Jacob Shofner, (13.1 seconds on three head), team ropers Quisto Lopez and Joe Mattern (17.3 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Bradley Harter (239 points on three head), barrel racer Mary Walker (48.91 seconds on three runs), steer roper Dane Noyce (51.1 seconds on three head), and bull riders Dustin Bowen and Tyler Taylor (159 points each on two head).
Courtesy of PRCA