SAN ANGELO, Texas – Twenty months ago, Kase Bacque left his home in south central Louisiana with a plan for college and a dream for rodeo.
He’s living both at the same time. As a sophomore at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, he leads the Southern Region tie-down roping standings. If he can hold on to at least a top-three spot at the end of the 10-event season that concludes later this month, he will advance to the College National Finals Rodeo.
He’s also hoping to end his first season in the PRCA as the top newcomer, and he made a significant claim for such Wednesday night during the ninth performance of the San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo. Bacque roped and tied his calf in 7.7 seconds to move into third place in the opening round. That’s worth some serious Texas cash for the Opelousas, Louisiana, cowboy.
“I’d really like to win the Resistol Rookie of the Year award, because it’s a big deal,” he said. “A lot of guys that do that go on to do a lot of great things in their rodeo careers.”
It’s true. In tie-down roping alone, men like Shane Hanchey, Tuf Cooper, Caleb Smidt, Cody Ohl, Fred Whitfield and Joe Beaver have all parlayed their rookie titles into world championships – they account for 30 total gold buckles. Bacque would love add at least one more, but first things first.
He’s just halfway to doing what he wants in San Angelo. He’ll rope his second calf Thursday night after the rodeo performance concludes. If his two-run cumulative time is among the top 12, he will advance to Friday’s championship round with an opportunity for a big win early in his young career.
“I drew really good, but I got a good start on a really good calf,” he said of Wednesday’s run. “Once I got her roped and on the ground, I just needed to make the best run I could make.”
He sounds like a veteran, but he’s been coached that way. By attending Sam Houston State, he has the opportunity to be around one of the greatest to have ever played the game.
“I decided to go to school there because I got a good offer to go rodeo, and I like the rodeo program,” Bacque said. “The education program is great, especially the ag education.
“Plus, I get to live right next to Joe Beaver, the eight-time world champion, and I get to rope with him a lot.”
Bacque is getting his money’s worth and then some with that level of roping education. Beaver won five world championships roping calves and added three more gold buckles in the all-around race. He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame 22 years ago.
“In the practice pen, he can really lift your confidence,” Bacque said. “He can get in your head and tell you to go fast but still be consistent. He works that mental game. I think Joe’s biggest deal is to be solid and do your job. He’s so good at the mental aspect of it.
“Joe helps inside and outside the arena. He’s a good role model for me.”
And it seems the student is getting all A’s in his roping classes, too. Bacque is 13th in the rookie standings but will move up after the first round is paid out. Beaver was the first tie-down roper in PRCA history to have ever won a rookie title and a world championship in the same season; he did that in 1985. The only person to have done it since was Haven Meged in 2019.
All Bacque has to do is look at the record books, and he’ll have plenty of inspiration to keep chasing his rodeo dreams.
“This is one of the bigger rodeos I’ve been part of where it’s like a first step into my rookie year,” he said. “I’ve done good at a few others, like the last few years at the Huntsville Pro Rodeo, which is kind of my hometown rodeo while I’m in school. I won it last year and finished second this year.”
If he keeps it up, Bacque and the 13-year-old sorrel gelding he just acquired last summer might walk away from west Texas with the coveted San Angelo championship, too.
San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Keenan Reed Hayes, 86 points on Hampton Pro Rodeo’s Rising Tide; 2. (tie) Tanner Aus and Tim O’Connell, 85; 4. (tie) Bronc Marriott and Luke Barlow Thrash, 84.5; 6. (tie) Seth Hardwick, Jayco Roper and Bradlee Miller, 84; 9. (tie) Chad Rutherford and Gavin French, 82; 11. R.C. Landingham, 81.5; 12. (tie) Clayton Biglow and Wyatt Denny, 81.
Steer wrestling: First round leaders: 1. Cade Goodman, 3.5 seconds; 2. (tie) Talon Roseland, Bryn Roy, Trell Etbauer and Gavin Soileau, 3.8; 6. (tie) Dakota Eldridge, Brandon Harrison, Justin Shaffer and Tyler Waguespack, 3.9. Second round leaders: 1. Chance Howard, 3.3 seconds; 2. (tie) Stetson Jorgensen and Walt Arnold, 3.5; 4. Tyler Pearson, 3.6; 5. (tie) Dakota Eldridge and Dirk Tavenner, 3.7; 8. (tie) Cameron Morman, Payden McIntyre, Jesse Brown and Clayton Hass, 3.9. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Dakota Eldridge and Stetson Jorgensen, 7.6 seconds on two runs; 3. Walt Arnold, 7.7; 4. Clayton Hass, 7.9; 5. (tie) Tyler Pearson and Payden McIntyre, 8.1; 7. Dirk Tavenner, 8.2; 8. Tory Johnson, 8.3; 9. (tie) Landris White and Winston McGraw, 8.4; 11. Brandon Harrison, 8.6; 12. Cade Goodman, 8.9.
Team roping: First round leaders: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves, 3.5 seconds, $5,206; 2. Cody Snow/Wesley Thorp, 3.7, $4,527; 3. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 3.8, $3,848; 4. (tie) J.C. Yeahquo/L.J. Yeahquo and Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 3.9, $2,830 each; 6. Caleb Smidt/Sergio Gonzales, 4.1, $1,811; 7. (tie) Aaron Tsinigine/Paul Eaves and Dawson Graham/Dillon Graham, 4.2, $792 each. Second round leaders: 1. Nelson Wyatt/Tyler Worley, 3.5 seconds; 2. Tyler Wade/Trey Yates, 3.6; 3. Cory Kidd/Lane Mitchell and Chace Thompson/Tyson Thompson, 3.8; 5. Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 3.9; 6. (tie) Clint Summers/Ross Ashford and Chet Weitz/Jace Davis, 4.1; 8. (tie) Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, Tucker Menz/D.J. Dugger and Tanner James/Phoenix Everano, 4.3. Average leaders: 1. Aaron Tsinigine/Paul Eaves, 8.8 seconds on two runs; 2. Derrick Begay/Colter Todd, 8.9; 3. Lightning Aguilera/Coleby Payne, 9.2; 4. Kolton Schmidt/Wyatt Cox, 9.4; 5. Tanner James/Phoenix Everano, 9.5; 6. Wyatt Imus/Caleb Anderson, 9.6; 7. Andrew Livingston/Seth Smithson, 9.8; 8. Payden Emmett/Lucas Falconer, 10.2; 9. (tie) Kolby Krieger/Boogie Ray and Cinch Moody/Rich Skelton, 10.4; 11. Nelson Wyatt/Tyler Worley, 12.5; 12. J.C. Yeahquo/L.J. Yeahquo, 12.6.
Saddle bronc riding leaders: 1. Ryder Wright, 89 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Uptuck; 2. Spencer Wright, 88; 3. Jake Finlay, 86; 4. Rusty Wright. 85.5; 5. Allen Boore, 85; 6. Chase Brooks, 84.5; 7. Statler Wright, 84; 8. Stetson Wright, 83.5; 9. (tie) Riggin Smith, Samuel Kelts, Kole Ashbacher and Creighton Curley, 83. (Rusty Wright likely will not be able to ride because of an injury)
Tie-down roping: First round leaders: 1. (tie) Tyler Milligan and Travis Rogers, 7.6 seconds; 3. Kase Bacque, 7.7; 4. (tie) Hudson Wallace, Dakota Felton and Tuf Cooper, 7.8; 7. Michael Otero, 7.9; 8. Riley Wakefield, 8.0. Second round leaders: 1. Riley Webb, 7.3 seconds; 2. John Douch, 7.4; 3. Zack Jongbloed, 7.4; 4. Marcos Costa, 7.5; 5. (tie) King Pickett and Trenton Smith. 7.7; 7. (tie) Cory Solomon, Kyle Lucas and Ryle Smith, 7.9. Average leaders: 1. Tyler Milligan, 15.7 seconds on two runs; 2. (tie) Zack Jongbloed and J.D. McCuistion, 16.7; 4. Dakota Felton, 16.8; 5. (tie) Luke Potter and Cody McCartney, 16.9; 7. (tie) Marcos Costa and Travis Rogers, 17.5; 9. Lane Livinngston, 17.7; 10. Brushton Minton, 17.9; 11. Thomas Conway, 18.0; 12. (tie) Chance Oftedahl and Blake Deckard, 18.1.
Barrel racing: Second round leaders: 1. Michelle Alley, 14.16 seconds; 2. Chani Graves, 14.19; 3. Kailee Murdock, 14.21; 4. Jordon Briggs, 14.29; 5. Sherry Cervi, 14.30; 6. (tie) Shelley Morgan and McKenzie Morgan, 14.31; 8. Laura Mote, 14.34; 9. Jennifer Driver, 14.35; 10. Tasha Welsh, 14.37. Average leaders: 1. (tie) Jordon Briggs and Michelle Alley, 29.99 seconds on two runs; 3. McKenzie Morgan, 30.03; 4. Shelley Morgan, 30.07; 5. Cassidy Champlin, 30.14; 6. Sherry Cervi, 30.15; 7. Chani Graves, 30.18; 8. Destri Davenport. 30.19; 9. (tie) Kailee Murdock and Halyn Lide, 30.22; 11. Cheyenne Wimberley, 30.23; 12. Melinda Edwards Dunn, 30.31.
Bull riding leaders: 1. Laramie Mosley, 90 points on Hampton Pro Rodeo’s Road Warrior; 2. Stetson Wright, 88; 3. Riley Barg, 87; 4. Ky Hamilton, 85.5; 5. Zach Parker, 85; 6. Tristen Hutchings, 84.5; 7. (tie) Jaron Sheehan, Tyler Bingham and Jordan Wacey Spears, 84; 10. Parker Breding, 83; 11. Garrett Wall, 82; 12. Toby Collins, 80.5.