In the rodeo and roping industry, you have the winter rodeos, which consist of rodeos like Odessa (Texas), Denver, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, San Angelo (Texas) and Tucson (Ariz.). Then there are the major ropings, like the George Strait and the Wildfire. Those events set the pace and the tone for the frontrunners and the mid-range runners. There have only been about 20 big rodeos so far this season. Reno (Nev.), the end of June, until Pendleton (Ore.) and Albuquerque (N.M.) in September is the heart of the season. We're just getting into the big-money run of rodeos. This is where a lot of the guys gain momentum and get a rhythm going. We're sometimes competing every day or even twice a day right now, so you can really make a move. We're getting ready to pin our ears back and go at it for three months.
Now is the time you have to make sure you have your horsepower ready. You have to have your horse situation under control-the best you can have-to get through this critical part of the season. Having two horses is good, but it sure doesn't hurt to have three or four. When it comes to good horses, the more the merrier.
Every team's in a different spot right now. Travis Tryan and Michael Jones had a good winter and spring at the rodeos, and Travis won first and second at the George Strait. So they have some good momentum going. They have good horses, and everything's clicking for them. Chad Masters and Jade Corkill, Riley and Brady Minor, Speed (Williams) and Al (Bach), and Clay (Cooper) and I have all gotten off to a pretty decent start. It's going to be an unusual year, just for the fact that the expense of fuel's going to be a factor in this year's race. The number of teams will cut back, so there won't be as much money to win out there. It's going to affect us. Clay and I would like to secure a spot in the middle of the pack, then limit our rodeos and hang around and wait for the (Wrangler ProRodeo) Tour finales and the (Wrangler National) Finals (Rodeo).