GUYMON, Okla. – The first time Bill Tutor strapped himself to Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket, Tutor was 21 years old.
The powerful bay gelding was just 9. Since that day five years ago, Tutor has become one of the best bareback riders in the game, having qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the first time last year. Dirty Jacket has become one of the greatest bucking horses in the game today, a two-time world champion and still one of the cowboys’ favorite.
“That horse is outstanding,” said Tutor of Huntsville, Texas. “Every time you see him by your name (in the random draw), chills just run through your backbone.”
Tutor and Dirty Jacket matched moves Saturday night for 87.5 points to take the bareback riding lead at the Guymon Pioneer Days Rodeo with one performance remaining. It marked the fourth time the two have been matched together, and Tutor has found great success: He won rodeos in Stephenville, Texas, and Claremore, Okla., in 2013 and finished second in Lovington, N.M., a year later.
“I was sure trying to stay cool, calm and collected, but it wasn’t working,” he said. “I could hardly get my glove on because the jitters came over me. That’s just the kind of horse he is. If you’re not that excited, something’s wrong with you. He felt outstanding tonight
“That’s what bareback riding is all about; it was fantastic.”
Dirty Jacket has been a staple inside Hitch Arena. The first time he bucked at a ProRodeo, it was in Guymon in 2008. Coloradoan Jared Schlegel rode the then-4-year-old bucking horse to the title with an 87-point ride.
A year later, Jared Smith won the bareback riding title on the bay’s back. For four consecutive years, Dirty Jacket was the prized mount for bareback riders in the territory once known as No Man’s Land. Will Lowe won a share of the title in 2010, and Matt Bright won it outright in ’11. All scores were 87 points.
Tutor’s ride was a half point better than them all.
“Whatever it takes to get the win,” he said. “I’ve come to Guymon many years, and I’ve never won it. It would be special to me to win this one.”
He will have to hold his breath through Sunday’s final performance, but he’s a virtual lock for a nice payday in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
“When the announcer says that Dirty Jacket is one we lay in bed and dream about, he’s not lying,” said Tutor, 26, who owns just a half-point lead over his traveling partner, three-time NFR qualifier Jake Brown of Cleveland, Texas.
While he’s still young, Tutor has become an established veteran in the game. He’s been among the top 40 bareback riders in the game each of the past five seasons. Now he’s gaining more momentum and confidence as he continues to strive for that elusive gold buckle.
“The only think I’ve ever dreamed of was making the NFR, but it lit more of a fire in me,” he said. “I always say, ‘If I make the finals once, I’d die a happy man.’ Jake told me, ‘Just wait and see.’ He was right. There’s nothing more that I want to do than get back to the finals this year. You’ve got to work hard every week, but I’m glad to do it.”
He was fourth in the world standings heading into this weekend and has earned more than $45,000 so far this season. He knows it’ll take a lot more to make it back to Las Vegas in December, but he’s ready for it. Having success in Guymon is a big part of his path back to the Nevada desert.
“This big outdoor rodeo is so cool and such a neat setup,” Tutor said. “I knew he’d buck great. You always know when you come here that you’re going to get on something good. The crowd was great, it’s an awesome arena and there are great bucking horses. But that’s what it’s all about, great bucking horses.”
Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo
April 30-May 6
Results through the first performance
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Bill Tutor, 87.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket; 2. Jake Brown, 87; 3. Tilden Hooper, 86; 4. Zach Hibler, 83.5; 5. Justin Miller 80.5; 6. Luke Creasy, 80; 7. Leighton Berry, 75.5; 3. Will Martin, 75.
Team roping: Third round leaders: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 5.8 seconds; 2. Marcus Theriot/Cody Doescher, 6.4; 3. Tyler Wojciechowski/Tyler Ishman, 7.0; 4. Lightning Aguilera/Brady Norman, 7.1; 5. Ryan Jarrett/Tadd Sheets, 7.6; 6. Jason Thorstenson/Levi Lord, 8.9; 7. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 9.0; 8. Blake Deckard/Cody Heflin, 10.1. Aggregate leaders: 1. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 24.1 seconds on three runs; 2. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 29.9; 3. Tyler Wojciechowski/Tyler Ishman, 33.5; 4. Blake Deckard/Cody Heflin, 35.0; 5. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 41.4; 6. Ryan Jarrett/Tad Sheets, 14.8 seconds on two runs; 7. Chad Masters/Joseph Harrison, 16.7; 8. Laramie Allen/Rosh Ashford, 17.3.
Steer wrestling: Third round leaders: 1. Matt Reeves, 3.5 seconds; 2. Rowdy Parrott, 3.8; 3. Jace Melvin, 4.09; 4. (tie) Dru Melvin and Denver Berry, 4.2; 6. (tie) Marcus Theriot Wyatt Jurney and Cody Pratt, 4.3. Aggregate leaders: 1. Hunter Cure, 12.3 seconds on three runs; 2. Matt Reeves, 13.9; 3. Jace Melvin, 14.1; 4. Denver Berry, 14.2; 5. Stockton Graves, 14.3; 6. (tie) Cody Pratt, Cody Devers and Gary Gilbert, 14.4.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Jake Wright, 84.5 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s YoYo; 2. Ross Griffin, 84; 3. CoBurn Bradshaw, 81; 4. Jesse Wright, 80.5; 5. Cole Elshere, 79.5; 6. (tie) Shorty Garrett, Tyler Corrington and Dawson Jandreau, 79.
Tie-down roping: Third round leaders: 1. (tie) Jake Pratt and Caleb Smidt, 9.5 seconds; 3. Anthony Jordan, 10.7; 4. Clint Cooper, 10.9; 5. Timber Moore, 11.2; 6. Stetson Vest, 11.5; 7. Dakota Felton, 12.0; 8. Seth Cooke, 12.2. Aggregate leaders: 1. Tim Pharr, 33.4 seconds on two runs; 2. Timber Moore, 35.1; 3. Clint Cooper, 35.6; 4. Jake Pratt, 35.9; 5. Seth Cooke, 37.4; 6. Kyle Dickens, 39.7; 7. Stetson Vest, 43.1; 8. (tie) Anthony Jordan and Monty Lewis, 44.5.
Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Cierra Chapman, 17.46 seconds; 2. (tie) Jana Bean, Sidney Forrest and Tracy Nowlin, 17.47; 5. Kylie Weast, 17.49; 6. Kelly Yataes, 17.52; 7. Kellie Collier, 17.55; 8. Andrea Busby, 17.56; 9. Dona Kay Rule, 17.58; 10. (tie) Ericka Nelson and Katelyn Scott, 17.59. Aggregate leaders: 1. Kylie Weast, 34.81 seconds on two runs; 2. Sidney Forrest, 35.10; 3. Kelly Yates, 35.29; 4. Tracy Nowlin, 35.37; 5. Jana Bean, 35.39; 6. (tie) Andrea Busby and Katelyn Scott, 35.43; 8. (tie) Cassidy Kruse and Tiany Schuster, 35.53; 10. Kellie Collier, 35.54.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Cole Melancon, 89 points on Pete Carr’s Classic Pro Rodeo’s Chigger; 2. Denton Fugate, 87.5; 3. (tie) Trey Benton III and Laramie Mosley, 86.5; 5. Joe Frost, 86; 6. Corey Atwell, 83; 7. Dillon Tyler, 79.5; no other qualified rides.