Yates Finds Redemption in St. Paul

ST. PAUL, Ore. – What a difference one week can make.

On June 28, tie-down roper Marty Yates saw the biggest win of his young career slip through his fingers when he broke the barrier in the final round at the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo after leading the two-head average. Exactly one week later, Yates made up for the Reno mistake by cashing in big at the St. Paul Rodeo.

Yates tied for fourth in the first round with a time of 9.3 seconds, and then split third in the second round with an 8.8-second run. It was enough to hold off Roger Nonella for the average, earning Yates a total of $8,926.

“It’s awesome to win this big of a rodeo, and anytime you can win money like that, it’s great,” Yates said. “I just want to keep rolling; there’s no stopping now. I had a rough year last year, and to have a shot this year to make the NFR, or win the world, is a dream.”

Yates will move close to the top five in the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings on Monday, and looks to be on his way to Las Vegas for the first time.

He admits the win in St. Paul helps to ease the pain of thinking about what might’ve been in Reno just a week ago.

“That night, after I broke the barrier in Reno, we flew to Ponoka (Alberta) the next morning and I thought about it for two days,” Yates says of letting Reno slip away. “It was hard, but you have to let it go and get by it. That rodeo was a bigger deal than others, and usually you’re over it the next night when that happens, but that was harder. This win in St. Paul sure helps out a lot.”

The icing on the cake (literally) for Yates is that it came a day before his 20th birthday. However, that didn’t mean there was any time to celebrate. It is, after all, Cowboy Christmas.

“We had to head to the airport to get to Prescott (Ariz.) right after St. Paul, and didn’t have time to celebrate,” Yates said. “We’ll celebrate in Prescott tonight with some dinner. I wanted to win the Prescott buckle for my birthday, but that probably isn’t going to happen after the first round.”

Traveling with defending World Champion Shane Hanchey and four-time WNFR qualifier Clif Cooper, Yates has more than held his own in the rig when it comes to making money this season.

“I didn’t go quite this hard last year, but this year went completely different than last year, and I’ve won much more money than I did last Cowboy Christmas,” Yates said. “We all pull for each other, and we’ve all done well in the rig this Cowboy Christmas. Shane was giving me crap and joking about me not ever winning more than $4,000 at any rodeo, so this was a nice win to show him I could.”

Other winners at the $331,580 rodeo were Austin Foss (87 points on Korkow Rodeos’ Arabella), steer wrestler Nick Guy (8.1 seconds on two head), team ropers Coleman Proctor and Jake Long (9.2 seconds on two head), saddle bronc rider Tyler Corrington (87 points on Korkow Rodeos’ Paint Chip), barrel racer Brenda Mays (17.09 seconds) and bull riders Jeffrey Ramagos (85 points on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s Wildwolf), Cole Echols (85 points on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s Blue Light Special) and Josh Koschel (85 points on Growney Brothers Rodeo’s Man Dance).

Courtesy of PRCA