Cheering for Tyler

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

I don’t like talking about it. I don’t like thinking about it. I just want to let it happen.

by Sarah Rose McDonald

I’ve competed at the NFR twice, in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, I won three go-rounds in the barrel racing and finished the year third in the world. It’s a whole different experience sitting in the stands watching your husband compete.

I’m excited to be cheering for my husband, Tyler Waguespack, especially since he’s doing so good. Vegas can either be ten really hard nights or ten awesome nights. It’s been pretty awesome this year. Tyler came into the Finals in tenth place, and he has steadily moved up. He’s second in the average going into Round Nine tonight, and he has a real chance to win the gold buckle in steer wrestling.

Tyler is such a good competitor. If he gets in a tight spot, he’s going to make it work. Last Saturday night, during Round Three, Tyler drew a runner. This steer literally looked like a cheetah. Tyler got kind of a late start, but Scooter was hustling to catch up and Tyler Pearson, his hazer, was right there with him. You know how short the Thomas & Mack is. They were running out of room. The yellow bucking chutes on the other side were coming up fast. If those guys didn’t peel off, they were going to smash into the chutes.

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We were sitting above those bucking chutes, and they were coming straight towards us. I was next to Tyler’s mom, and we were grabbing each other. You better hurry up! I felt helpless.

Tyler didn’t have many options, and hardly any of them were good. He could have turned his horse, kept riding and gotten a no-time, which would have taken him out of the average. If he tried jumping the steer and the steer turned, he could have hit the ground hard. By that point, they were running so fast. If he waited a split second too long, he might have crashed into the gates.

Instead, Pearson kept the steer in line and Tyler gambled, reached out, caught the steer and threw him good. He was 6.1 seconds—and only ten feet from the metal gates.

When I asked him about it later, he said, “I knew Pearson was going to be there for me.” So he took the chance.

Tyler’s good about not getting nervous. Last night he told me he drew a good one for Round Seven. That made me more nervous than if he drew a bad one! I said, “You’re sitting second in the average. Don’t tear the barrier down!”

But he went at the barrier and won the go-round. That’s just how he is. He stays in his zone and does what he’s been practicing to do.

Tyler likes to play cards in the mornings and afternoons to take his mind off things. Last Saturday, the day of Round Three, he drew a straight flush and won ten-thousand dollars. I guess that was his lucky day!

Even though he was 6.1 that night and didn’t win a check that might end up being his best run of the Finals. He’s done the best he could on every steer he’s drawn. He has a really good chance to win the world. I don’t like talking about it. I don’t like thinking about it. I just want to let it happen.

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