LAS VEGAS – Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Cimarron Jack has been a winner over the years. The big bay has helped cowboys win rounds at the National Finals Rodeo before.
That didn’t happen with Wyatt Casper during Thursday’s eighth round, but it worked well enough for the Texas cowboy. He and Cimarron Jack matched moves for 82 points to finish sixth, worth $4,354.
“He was a lot more rider-friendly for this pen,” Casper said, noting that the eighth round featured the “Eliminator Pen” of bucking horses, the ones that cause havoc. “I don’t think he fit this pen. He is usually better than that. It just wasn’t his night.
“If I was in the average, I’d be happy about it. I’m not in the average, so I’m just trying to go for the rounds. When you don’t have the horse to do it, it is a little upsetting.”
Casper had no-scores in each of the first three rounds and is 10th in the aggregate race; only the top eight cumulative scores at the end of the 10-round championship will earn bonuses. But for all the trouble he had to start the NFR, he has bounced back, pocketing $67,000 in Las Vegas. He is sixth in the world standings with $151,990.
“He was probably top three rider-friendly horse in that pen, but I knew it wasn’t going to be a huge score,” said Casper of Miami, Texas. “I tried to ride him as good as I could, just as I do every horse. It worked out, and we won some money.”
The NFR features a purse of more than $10 million, and he wants to collect as much of that pot as he can over the final two nights of the season. A year ago, he pocketed nearly $176,000 at ProRodeo’s grand finale. Rodeo isn’t always rose pedals and ice cream sprinkles though, and he realizes he’s done some good things this year.
“I wouldn’t make that driving a truck at home, so I’m excited to be here,” he said. “It’s still going to be a good 10 days after this. It’s hard to compare it to last year. I just haven’t had a good go of it. After this week’s over, we are still going to be pretty happy.”
He’s placed in four rounds so far, including the Round 7 victory. He has two more nights to catch as much cash as he can before he leaves Las Vegas. He’ll have good opportunities, thanks in large part to the livestock that’s been selected to buck at the NFR.
“It’s the top (100) horses they bring here, so they are the best,” Casper said. “They deserve to be here just as much as all the bronc riders.”