Rough Weekend

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

photo by Matt Cohen / Cowboy Journal

I’m so close to my first NFR. I won’t let bad runs stop me.

by Rhen Richard

I’m coming off a rough weekend and feel the pressure to put some money in the bank. I’m still sitting twelfth in the calf roping and fourteenth in team roping. But that’s not good enough for me.

Last week, me and my partner Quinn were able to practice at Cole Davison’s house in Stephenville before hitting the road again. It allowed us to relax a bit, work on some finer things and just make sure we feel good and our horses feel good. A practice session is a good confidence boost for me. It helps to erase any doubts I feel creeping in. Clearing out the cobwebs, I think you call it. A couple smooth and fast runs, and I’m smiling from ear to ear and ready to go for more.

Unfortunately, the practice didn’t pay off.

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

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From Cole’s, we drove about five hours to Texarkana, Arkansas. We were up Friday night, and we didn’t draw good from the start. We knew we were going to have to make the best of the situation.

In tie-down, my calf stopped cold as soon as I roped him, so that was no good. Then, in the team roping, our steer came out and went straight to the left. I headed him. Quinn could’ve heeled him, but our time would have been laughable. Instead, Quinn held back and we accepted our fate.

On to the next one…

We pulled into Amarillo, Texas, Saturday to rope that night. After Texarkana, I felt the pressure for a solid run and a check. We drew well in team roping. Our steer was supposed to be strong—exactly what we needed! Instead, he barely got into a lope out of the chute. I didn’t just break the barrier. I tore it down.

I’ve trained my calf horse, Patron, from a yearling, so I know how good he can work. Apparently, Arkansas didn’t agree with him. And the calf pushed on me when I was tying. No good.

I don’t feel stressed right now. Heck, I don’t even feel desperate. I feel hungry for it. The Finals have always been out of reach—out of reach for ten years.

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Quinn made the Finals in 2016, and I know he wants to qualify as much as I do. He’s currently sitting sixteenth with sixteen-hundred dollars between him and fifteenth. I can’t imagine making the Finals without him. That’s one of the awesome things about partners—he’s going to work as hard to make sure I get the opportunity as I will work for him.

We head to Kansas City, MO, on Wednesday; Omaha, NE, Friday morning; San Bernardino, CA, on Saturday; and then back to Stephenville, TX, Sunday. Because I’ve almost reached my rodeo limit, only Stephenville counts for me in team roping. But team roping is where I need the most money to stay in the top fifteen. The rest are to give Quinn a chance to qualify.

We’re counting on finishing strong. Both of us.

Read more about the other CINCH JEANS and Classic Equine athletes fighting to make the NFR. Follow #theCjHASE

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen


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