Even numbered years seem to be Tyler Waguespack’s thing.
In 2016 and 2018, the Gonzales, La., cowboy rode into the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and won the average and world championship at rodeo’s biggest event.
After looking like a lock for a third World title through eight rounds of the 2019 Wrangler NFR before a disastrous no time in Round 9 sunk his gold buckle dreams, Waguespack is poised to keep his streak alive in 2020.
He’ll ride a nice wave of momentum into the 2020 Wrangler NFR at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, Dec. 3-12, after splitting the win at the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo in Waco which ended on Oct. 17.
“It’s always good to get started off right,” Waguespack said. As for his run of titles in even numbered years, he agreed, “it would be wholesome to keep that pattern going.”
In Waco, Waguespack earned $2,386 toward the 2021 PRCA | RAM World standings after sharing the win with Jacob Talley with identical 3.7 second runs.
Horsepower is a big part of Waguespack’s success. He’s often found riding two-time AQHA/PRCA Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year Scooter but in 2020 he’s been putting time in on a new mount, the palomino named Casper who, like Scooter, is owned by fellow PRCA world champ Tyler Pearson.
“It’s awesome,” Waguespack said. “Within our crew, we’ve got some of the best horsepower going down the road. Like in Waco, Kyle Irwin broke the barrier to win on Scooter and then I won it on Casper.”
“The horses are all working top notch right now.”
That’s a great position to be in given that the next event on the schedule is the Super Bowl of rodeo. For the first time since 1985, however, the Wrangler NFR is being hosted in a different venue than the Thomas & Mack Arena in Las Vegas.
Globe Life Field is likely to be several times larger than Thomas & Mack.
“In Vegas, every one of us knows going in what it’s going to be like, what the score it,” Waguespack said. “It’ll probably take a couple of rounds down (at Globe Life Field) before everyone gets settled in and gets the score down.”
Even with change, Waguespack remains confident due to his team – not only Casper and Scooter, one of whom will be his ride – but Pearson on the hazing side.
“It’s a different set up but I have confidence in the horsepower we have and anytime you have Tyler Pearson on the hazing side, you’re in great shape,” he said.
After finishing third in the 2020 PRCA | RAM World standings, Waguespack is about $34,000 behind leader Matt Reeves. Between now and Dec. 3, he’ll spend every day in the practice pen and will head to Pearson’s place in Oklahoma prior to the Finals for final tuning with the horses.
“I’m just going to show up and make the best run I can on whatever steer I’ve drawn,” he said.
Even with unfamiliar surroundings in Arlington, Waguespack expects a tremendous contest.
“Every one of us can win a gold buckle,” he said of the field of steer wrestlers. “It’ll be a fun 10 days to see who ends up on top.”
Other winners at the $163,789 rodeo were all-around cowboy Marcus Theriot ($3,666 in steer wrestling and team roping); bareback rider Jake Brown (169.5 points on two head); team ropers Tyler Wade and Billie Jack Saebens (3.7 seconds); saddle bronc rider Cody DeMoss (87 points on J Bar J Rodeo’s Big Block); tie-down ropers Shad Mayfield and Ike Fontenot (7.6 seconds each); barrel racers Ivy Sieben and Victoria Williams (30.51 seconds on two runs); steer roper Garrett Hale (30.8 seconds on three head); and bull riders Dustin Martinez, Maverick Potter and Tristan Mize (86.5 points on 4L & Diamond S Rodeo’s Foolish Dreams, Rafter G Rodeo’s Freddy Fender, and Andrews Rodeo’s Desperate Man, respectively).
Courtesy of PRCA