LAS VEGAS – Something needed to change for steer wrestler Bray Armes, so he changed his hair style.
“I guess I had to see my professional barber, Casey Martin,” Armes said jokingly, referring to his traveling partner from Sulphur, La., who reconfigured the Texan’s top into a Mohawk. “It happened last night probably before the calf roping started, we had it shaved. We just needed a change.”
Armes, who grew up in the Texas Panhandle community of Gruver and now lives in Ponder, Texas, has struggled through a good portion of the 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. He has placed in five rounds, but his best finish was fourth. That’s quite a change over his two previous trips to Las Vegas, where he earned more than $185,000 in 2012-13.
But the main purpose for the new hairdo had more to do with a personal feeling than it did with karma.
“It was because my attitude, as most of you saw last night in the arena, was poor,” he said. “That’s not me, and I was pretty irritated with myself. You know we want to win, and sometimes we just try too dang hard. That’s just part of it.”
The Mohawk – and the attitude adjustment – worked. On Friday night, Armes grappled his steer to the ground in 4.1 seconds to finish third in the ninth go-round. That was worth $11,340, and it happened on one of the toughest steers in the herd.
“That’s funny, because the last two nights I’ve had probably the best one on them, and I’ve messed it up both times,” Armes said, referring to his fifth-place finish in Round 7 and his no-time Thursday. “I told them I want the one nobody else wants. I just need to back in there and go have fun. That’s what happened tonight, and we were blessed with a third-place check.”
It was a great way to celebrate his son’s birthday, but the Armes family is getting used to that.