GUTHRIE, Okla. – Paul David Tierney of Oral, S.D., is proving just why he is the reigning champion of the Timed Event Championship of the World.
On Friday afternoon, Tierney posted a 63.7-second opening round to take the early lead in the 2015 “Ironman of ProRodeo” event. He leads a contingent of veterans, including three other past Timed Event winners: five-time titlist K.C. Jones is second with a 64.6, followed by Dustin Bird, 64.7; Jess Tierney, 64.8; six-time winner Trevor Brazile, 66.4; and three-time champ Daniel Green, 76.0.
“I just wanted to get out of the barrier and go out and make smooth runs,” Paul David Tierney said, meaning he wanted to avoid any penalties for breaking the barrier and not allowing the cattle an appropriate head start. “I almost accomplished it if I wouldn’t have had my steer wrestling steer ball up on me.”
The top 20 timed-event contestants in ProRodeo are part of this elite field competing in one of the most challenging championships in the sport. They compete in heading, tie-down roping, heeling, steer wrestling and steer roping. In Tierney’s run, the bulldogging steer did not fall flat as he needed to make a fast run. The animals are meant to be a test for the cowboy’ skills.
“You don’t’ need to have pups out here,” said Tierney, who, like older brother Jess, is following in the footsteps of their hall-of-fame father, Paul Tierney, a four-time Timed Event titlist. “What helped is growing up doing all these events.
“Doing it all and having my dad to help me come here and do these events.”
Jess Tierney and Bird are the only two cowboys among the top six who don’t own championships in this unique competition, but they’re bringing a good portion of experience into play. Jess Tierney is a four-time qualifier to the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping, while Bird is a three-time heading qualifier to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“A few things I could’ve done better, but for the most part, it’s going pretty decent,” said Bird of Cut Bank, Mont. “It’s not easy; it’s a lot of work. I prepared myself a lot better this year because I knew what to expect. I had some guys help me with some different areas I was not as strong in.”
That’s important, especially if cowboys want to add their name to the prestigious list of champions.
1. Paul David Tierney, 63.7 seconds; 2. K.C. Jones, 64.6; 3. Dustin Bird, 64.7; 4. Jess Tierney, 64.8; 5. Trevor Brazile, 64.8; 6. Daniel Green, 76.0.