COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Fresh off his inaugural PRCA world championship a month ago, steer wrestler Ty Erickson is back in the rodeo grind.
The Helena, Mont., cowboy is back to defend his average title at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver. He will make his first runs at the Denver Coliseum Jan. 17-18.
The 2020 National Western Stock Show and Rodeo is Jan. 16-26. The Cowboy Channel will air look-ins from the rodeo in Denver on “ProRodeo Tonight” beginning Jan. 16. “ProRodeo Tonight” will air Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. (ET). It will air Jan. 17-19 at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The Cowboy Channel will also air the final from Denver live Jan. 26 at 4 p.m. (ET).
Erickson won the average in Denver for the first time in 2019, posting an 11.9-second time on three head. He earned $10,024.
Erickson went on to qualify for his sixth consecutive Wrangler NFR and won the championship with $234,491 in the PRCA | RAM World Standings. Bridger Chambers finished second in the world with $217,362.
“I think it is important to get off on the right step,” Erickson said about his mindset for Denver. “If you do well (at a rodeo like Denver) you’re not trying to play catch-up and you can relax and do your job.”
Last year at Denver, Erickson tied for second in the first round and split first place three ways in the final round with 3.6- and 3.8-second runs, respectively.
This year in Denver, Erickson will be riding 8-year-old Crush, whom he rode to his world title during the Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas. He also was aboard Crush when he won the average at the RAM Montana Circuit Finals Rodeo in Great Falls, Jan. 12.
“I couldn’t be prouder of how (Crush) is working right now,” said Erickson, 29. “He’s still really green and I have been asking a lot of him here lately. That’s a lot to ask of a horse, especially a green one and couldn’t be happier with the way he has performed.”
Erickson said competing in Denver is something he marks on his calendar. He was second in the average in Denver in 2017 with a 13.0-second time on three head.
“I’ve always enjoyed going to Denver,” he said. “It is a fun rodeo, and being from Montana, it is nice to be able to stop about halfway down to the big Texas rodeos and hit a rodeo of that caliber.”
Erickson is still trying to digest the fact he is a world champion.
“It’s basically all the hard work is worth it, and now I’m ready to start over and see if I can’t do it again,” Erickson said. “When I was trying to make the Finals, the first one was the hardest one and the world title is the same way. It is not easy to win a world title.”
Courtesy of PRCA