The excitement of the CINCH Timed Event Championship brings out the best
GUTHRIE, Okla. – For many, John Wayne was the epitome of a cowboy: Rugged, tough, strong and charismatic.
It was an attitude he portrayed on screen, but it was the perfect symbol of what it takes to be a real cowboy. Twenty men will bring that persona to central Oklahoma for the 33rd edition of the CINCH Timed Event Championship of the World, set for Friday, March 3-Sunday, March 5, at the Lazy E Arena. It is a coarse test of stamina, courage and talent for some of the greatest all-around cowboys who play the game today.
“There’s not another event like it,” said Trevor Brazile, a seven-time Timed Event champion from Decatur, Texas. “It is the purest of timed-event contests, then you put it in a venue like the Lazy E, and it adds that much more of a cowboy contest.”
It’s a five-round championship spread over just three days. There’s no rest for the weary, and each man must compete in all five timed-event disciplines – heading, heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping – in every go-round. It’s a wild ride to the championship, where $100,000 will be paid to the winner with the best cumulative time on 25 runs.
“It’s been the cowboy’s event since it started,” said Paul David Tierney, a two-time and the reigning champion from Oral, S.D.
He should know. His father, Paul, is a four-time CINCH TEC titlist, and the youngest member of the family will also compete alongside his brother, Jess. They are the next generation of cowboys who can compete in this exclusive championship, known as the “Ironman of ProRodeo.” What makes the Timed Event more special this year is the inclusion of the Jr. Ironman Championship, which will feature 10 top cowboys who range in age from 15-20.
“I think there are a few more people getting into it nowadays, so they can be able to do the Timed Event when they get old enough,” Tierney said, noting that the younger competitors will test their skills in heading, heeling, tie-down roping and steer wrestling. “I think that’s good for this event.”
It is. The Jr. Ironman will begin at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. It’s an outstanding opening act for the greatest all-around timed-event cowboys in the world competing in the most challenging contest in the sport.
“The competition is unmatched as far as the ability people have,” said Daniel Green, a three-time champ from Oakdale, Calif. “The single toughest thing you face is the course. It is the hardest thing to get by, the switching of the horses, the switching of events, the size of the cattle, the length of the score. All that put together is the toughest competition you will face.”
That’s part of the attraction. It’s why men cross the country and invest into the challenge, and it’s why fans show up by the thousands for each performance.
“Part of what makes the Timed Event so great is the fans,” said K.C. Jones, a five-time titlist from Burlington, Wyo. “They appreciate it, and that’s why they’re there.
“To be successful there, it’s all about being prepared when you get there. If you’ve got a hole in your program, you’re in trouble. You need to be solid and prepared in all five events.”
That’s going to be a valuable tool to all 20 men in the field. While the past champs have an edge, any cowboy can make a move toward the top at any given moment.
“If you stub your toe, somebody’s going to be right there,” said Brazile, who also owns a PRCA record 23 world titles spread out over four disciplines: the all-around, tie-down roping, steer roping and heading. “You have to have your foot on the gas the whole time.
“You have to be efficient in all five events. You can’t dabble. You better be on you’re A game for all of it.”
That’s why he’s won more Timed Event titles than anyone else.