LAS VEGAS – That’s more like it for steer wrestler Casey Martin.
“I finally got a little better end of them,” Martin said, referring to the random draw that matched him with his steer for the Tuesday’s sixth round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. “We were on the slower end of them tonight. I got me a start; that was the biggest deal.”
The draw can make a big difference in the way things fall each go-round. In Martin’s case, he utilized a good draw to post a 3.8-second run, good enough for third place on the sixth night of ProRodeo’s grand finale.
It was worth $15,654. He virtually doubled his NFR earnings and has pushed his season payout to more than $105,000.
“I finally hit the barrier like I needed to,” he said about the start, in which the steer is provided a head start; cowboys being on the barrier is a split-second difference – if they’re off the barrier too much, they’ll lose time, but if they go through the barrier before the steer releases it, then they’re saddled with a 10-second penalty. “I’ve been trying to do it all week, so it’s game on now.”
Everything came together well for Martin, from his steer wrestling horse, Ote, to his hazer, Sean Mulligan, being in the right place at the right time.
“Ote’s working great,” Martin said. “It was a fast round. I caught up to the steer really fast, maybe a stride too fast, and I couldn’t get everything set up very good. The steer let off there a little bit, and that’s where I got a two-point fall on him.
“It worked out. I’ll take it.”
Ote is owned by friend and traveling partner Bray Armes, who has ridden the talented palomino at the NFR each of the past three years.
“The horse is working good, and I got the start like I was supposed to tonight,” Martin said. “That’s just how we need to have it happen the next four nights.”