HEMPSTEAD, Texas – It’s been more than a year since Dustin Boquet felt normal.
He suffered three injuries in eight months and opted to sit out the remainder of the 2022 season. His first rodeo back in competition was Friday’s second performance of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo. It wasn’t just his first jump into competition; it was also the first bull he’d been on since May.
“I knew I had a pretty good bull, so I figured I may as well come try it out and see if I can stay on,” said Boquet, 28, of Bourg, Louisiana, now living in Murchison, Texas, a community of 350 people about 175 miles north of Hempstead.
“I broke my arm in September last year, and I came back, went to the (National Finals Rodeo) and broke it again, only higher up. I came back this year and went to nine events, then I broke my (left) collarbone in three pieces; the middle piece was kind of just floating, so I had surgery on that. I figured we’d just give it the rest of the year and come back fresh and ready to rock ’n’ roll in 2023.”
The regular season of rodeo concluded Sept. 30. Because the Waller County Fair and Rodeo ends on Oct. 1, the money earned in Hempstead counts toward the 2023 standings. Boquet bucked off Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Outa Here on Friday night, but he understands that’s just part of the game he plays; bulls win most of the time.
Still, he was quite content to get back to business. He’s a two-time NFR qualifier, having earned his trips the last two years. He’s been up and down the road since turning pro in 2013, so his body may have been telling him it was time for a bit of a rest.
“We know when we start rodeoing that you’re going to get hurt; you just don’t know when and you don’t know how bad,” he said. “Keeping a good attitude and keeping good faith helps a bunch. It’s trusting the process. He’s got a plan for every single one of us. We’ve just got to trust God’s timing and go with the flow.
“I know every rodeo athlete sometimes wonders if they still love it. This morning when I woke up, I texted a buddy of mine and said, ‘I feel like a kid in a candy store. I’m ready to rock.’ I’ve still got the passion for it and I still love it, so I’m ready to go on.”
Waller County Fair and Rodeo
Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Bareback riding: 1. Bradlee Miller, 85 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Cool Change; 2. A.J. Ruth, 74; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Tyler Ravenscroft, 3.2 seconds; 2. Jacob Talley, 3.4; 3. Cash Robb, 3.7; 4. (tie) Riley Duvall and Rowdy Parrott, 3.8; 6. Jacob Edler, 3.9; 7. (tie) Cade Goodman and Logan Lemmel, 4.0; 9. (tie) Riley Westhaver, Dylan Schroeder and Clayton Hass, 4.2
Team roping: 1. Jake Orman/Corey Hedrick, 4.1 seconds; 2. (tie) Pedro Egurrola/James Flake and Cory Kidd/Lane Mitchell, 4.2; 4. Clint Keller/Michael Jones, 4.3; 5. Manny Equsquiza/Cutter Thomison, 4.5; 6. Garrett Tonozzi/Dustin Davis, 4.7l; 7. (tie) Shay Carrolll/Evan Arnold and Payden Emmett/Lucas Falconer, 4.8; 9. (tie) Curry Kirchner/Reagan Ward and Billy Bob Brown/James Blankenship, 4.9.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Zac Dallas, 86 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Pretty Woman; 2. (tie) Jace Angus and Dylan Hancock, 80; 4. Reginald Lecourt, 78; 5. (tie) Parker Kempfer and Parker Fleet, 74.5; 7. Cole Franks, 73; 8. (tie) Isaac Diaz and Clint Franks, 72.
Tie-down roping: 1. Blane Cox, 7.8 seconds; 2. William Wyatt, 8.2; 3. Richard Newton, 8.4; 4. Treg Schaack, 8.6; 5. Andrew Burks, 8.9; 6. Cheyenne Stanley, 9.0; 7. Jerry Adamson, 9.1; 8. (tie) Brock Beckham and Clay McCuistion, 9.2; 10. Paden Bray, 9.4.
Breakaway roping: 1. (tie) Taylor Hanchey and Tibba Smith, 2.2 seconds; 3. Brandy Gilbert, 2.5; 4. (tie) Jordan Jo Hollabaugh, 2.6; 6. Cheyenne Britain, 2.8; 7. Chelsea Putnam, 2.9; 8. McKaitlin McKee, 3.0; 9. Jordi Edens, 3.1; 10. Loni Lester, 3.4.
Barrel racing: 1. Ilyssa Riley, 15.51 seconds; 2. Kelly Allen, 15.58; 3. Laura Mote, 15.51; 4. Sissy Winn, 15.68; 4. Molly Pritchard, 16.25; 5. Rainey Skelton, 15.72; 6. Suzanne Brooks, 15.74.
Bull riding: 1. T. Parker, 86.5 points on Lancaster & Jones Pro Rodeo’s Mr. Quick; no other qualified rides.