LAS VEGAS – If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes a big team to care for one of the greatest horses in rodeo.
That’s what happens with Scooter, the 2017 Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year owned by Tyler Pearson and Kyle Irwin. He’s also being ridden this week at the National Finals Rodeo by the reigning world champion, Tyler Waguespack, and Ty Erickson, the No. 1 man in the standings.
“It’s been unreal,” said Pearson, who placed for the fifth time Wednesday night during the seventh go-round, stopping the clock in 3.6 seconds to finish in a tie for second place with Irwin. “Ty’s fiancé, Sierra, has been packing his feet at night. We’ve been letting him out during the day to stretch and roll, making sure he’s comfortable.
“We have (veterinarian) Dr. Marty Tanner on him every day, checking him out making sure that if he needs anything he gets it. It’s a whole team deal, for sure.”
Rodeo cowboys know how important it is to care for their horses. The mounts are a big key to their success, and their care is vital. What’s more impressive with Scooter is that he’s guided his four cowboys to $281,276 in earnings in just seven nights. Most of that has come from Pearson.
On Wednesday night, Pearson cashed in for another $18,192 to push his NFR earnings to just shy of $101,000. He is No. 2 in the standings with $210,880.
“It’s amazing and surreal to me,” said Pearson, 32, of Louisville, Miss. “It’s hard to believe, and every time we lay on over, it’s just another blessing. It’s kind of a blur right now. Maybe a couple of weeks after it’s over I will realize what we’re experiencing.
“I’m trying not to look at the numbers, and I’m trying not to look at the average. I just want to finish these 10 days. If at the end and I’m on the victory-lap horse and they’re giving me the gold buckle, I’ll celebrate then. But right now, I’m just having a blast.”
He certainly had a blast Wednesday. He knew the steer was going to try, but Scooter got the bulldogger into position to make a solid run. Canadians Tanner Milan and Scott Guenther had both run the steer in previous rounds, and they gave Pearson some insights on the animal.
“I knew I got a good start, and I knew Kyle (as his hazer) was there,” he said. “Once I got my hands on the steer, I knew he’d be good on the ground.
“None of this would be possible without Scooter. There are a lot of great horses out there, and for Scooter to be in a group of horses like that, it’s really special for us to have him in that same category.”
Now there are three nights remaining in the 2017 ProRodeo season. That means three more chances to cash in. Not only does the money help take care of bills and cover expenses, it’s also how championships are won. In rodeo, dollars equal points, and the contestants with the most money won in each event at the conclusion of the season will be crowned world champions.
“We’re just going to stay hungry and not stay where we are,” Pearson said. “We want to get over a half million in earnings on Scooter. We never came in with a number like that, but after the start we’ve had, we decided to get over $500,00 because we have a chance.”