SAN ANTONIO – Team roping heeler Levi Tyan didn’t know he’d spend the last day of his 20s setting a record at the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.
Now the Nebraska cowboy is celebrating his 30th birthday (Feb. 12) as a San Antonio record-holder. He and team roping header Dustin Bird made a 3.5-second run during Round 2 of Bracket 3 on Feb. 11.
“It’s dang sure exciting and it’s exciting to do it at this rodeo,” Tyan said. “I’ve never been 3 (seconds) before and this was a good place to do it.”
The duo’s time is the fastest of the 2020 season by one-tenth of a second. Compared to the 2019 season leaderboard, Bird and Tyan’s 3.5-second run would have tied for the second-fastest run of the season, posted by Clay Smith and Jake Long.
Before their run, San Antonio’s record was 3.7 seconds, set by Coleman Proctor and Billie Jack Saebens in 2018. The record before that – 3.8 seconds set by Kaleb Driggers and Jade Corkill in 2012 – had stood for six years.
“We didn’t have any luck the first night, but we had some luck last night and hope to knock another one down tonight and be back next week for the semifinals,” Tyan said.
Fans can catch the San Antonio rodeo action live on The Cowboy Channel Feb. 10-13 at 8 p.m. (ET) and Feb. 15-16 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (ET). The remainder of the rodeo (Feb. 17-22) will air at 8 p.m. (ET). The San Antonio Xtreme Bulls will air at 2 p.m., Feb. 22.
“This is my favorite rodeo of the whole year,” Tyan said. “The hospitality and the crew they have is incredible, they take care of us better than anywhere else.”
San Antonio won the PRCA Large Indoor Rodeo of the Year Award 14 years in a row (2005-18).
Bird, 39, is a five-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (2012-14 and 2016-17) with $1.03 million in career earnings since his rookie year in 2001. The Cut Bank, Mont., cowboy finished 30th in the 2019 PRCA | RAM World Standings for team roping heading with $47,341.
Bird was out hunting the day after their record run.
Tyan shared his glowing review on his roping partner’s role.
“He hit the barrier perfectly,” Tyan said. “The steer was good, and he (Bird) just did a great job of setting the run up and it was easy for me – when the header does a great job it makes it a lot easier.”
Since joining as a rookie in 2012, Tyan has earned $101,097. So far, the 2020 season is turning out vastly different from 2019, when the Wallace, Neb., cowboy ranked 173rd in the world with $6,988.
Tyan was competing on Pepper, his 8-year-old American Quarter Horse.
“I bought him a couple of years ago and he was pretty green then,” Tyan said. “I rode him last year while circuit rodeoing to season him, and he is taking everything awesome and keeps getting better.”
Courtesy of PRCA