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Taylor Santos Stays Hot, Wins in Santa Maria

By Tracy Renck

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Tie-down roper Taylor Santos has been on a heater all spring.

The California cowboy didn’t cool down over the weekend.

Santos, with a 19.0-second time won the two-head average in the tie-down roping at the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, a ProRodeo Tour stop, which concluded Sunday.

“I roped (May 30) and after I roped, a guy wants to win first, especially since that’s like a hometown rodeo to me,” said Santos, 24, who is from Creston. “The last few weeks, I’ve been on a good run, and I won Redding (Calif.). This was awesome to win Santa Maria. I’ve been going to all those rodeos in California a bunch of times and it was great to check this one off my bucket list.”

Santos set the tone immediately, capturing the victory in the first round with a 9.3-second time. He followed that up with a solid 9.7-second effort in the second round, which was good for second place in the round. Santos played the waiting the game and by Sunday evening he was the average champ.

“The winter time was all right for me, but the spring time is always my favorite time,” Santos said. “I get to be at home and be around my mom (Kendra), my brother (Lane), my uncles, and my grandpa. They are all out there and they are always helping me practice every day. I just like being able to sleep in my own bed and go to rodeos. It’s awesome.”

Santos’ older brother, Lane Santos Karney won all-around cowboy honors and split the team roping average at Santa Maria, earning $4,855 in the two events.

“That’s was cool that we both did so well,” Taylor said.

Taylor also credited his horse he’s been riding, Hank, 18.

“I feel like when Hank turned 18, I feel like now he’s in his prime,” Santos said. “He’s been awesome this year. This is the best he’s ever been.”

Santos, who is eyeing his first qualification to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, is putting himself in position to compete in Las Vegas in December. He entered the week 10th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings with $37,562 and will likely move up after he earned $3,343 in Santa Maria.

“That would be a dream come true to make the NFR, not only for me, but for my family,” Santos said. “Ever since I was in fifth grade my mom (Kendra) would take us to the junior rodeos and drive all night and get us home so we could be at school the next morning. I’ve put a lot into it to try and get to the NFR, but I can’t thank my mom enough.”

Other winners at the $112,660 rodeo were bareback rider Austin Foss (88.5 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Lil Red Hawk); steer wrestler Blake Knowles (11.6 seconds on two head); team ropers Lane Karney/Kyle Lockett and Dallas Owen/Taylor Winters (6.5 seconds each); saddle bronc riders Lefty Holman (84.5 points Flying U Rodeo’s Cruel Intentions) and Mitch Pollock (84.5 points on Flying U Rodeo’s Boxed Wine); Nellie Miller (16.74 seconds) and bull rider Boudreaux Campbell (85.5 points on Rosser Rodeo’s Black Kat).

To read more about the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, check out the June 14 edition of ProRodeo Sports News.

Courtesy of PRCA