The noise rose up a notch when Marty Yates stopped the clock in 7.4 seconds on Sunday night during the fourth performance of the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. That was largely due his family, and their cheering drifted all the way down to the arena where he could hear it.
Yates, a nine-time NFR qualifier, was first to rope and had to wait through the next 14 tie-down contestants to see if his time would hold. It did. He added $28,914 to his regular season earnings.
For Yates, 28, the round win couldn’t have come at a better time. He had yet to place at rodeo’s championships and a no-time in Round 3 took him out of the average.
“I never get tired of winning,” he said. “It’s nice to win rounds and, even though that’s not the ultimate, it puts money in my pockets.”
Riding a Jag
His success for most of the past two years and here on Sunday came aboard Jaguar, a horse that is no stranger among many top ropers. Though he’s not the style of horse that Yates is used to, Yates loves how Jaguar gives him the same shot every time.
Hunter Herrin initially started riding him and gained the horse a lot of experience. Then, World Champion Monty Lewis bought him and rode him a couple of years. Lewis sold him to Shad Mayfield and, then, Yates got him. Herrin got on him for two rounds at the NFR in 2021. He is very different from Yates’ great horse Buster.
“I’ve made so many runs on that horse, I’ve kind of adapted to the way that he works,” he added. “I like a fast-footed horse and one that really gets on his butt. Jag is longer strided and stops on his front end a little more. It’s just learning about them and figuring it out.”
Round 4 Runs
Caleb Smidt stopped the clock in 8.1 seconds and tied for fourth and fifth with Haven Meged. Smidt is still in command of the average with 30.3 on four head and has moved to the top of the world standings with $326,359. He is now $5,467 ahead of Shad Mayfield.
John Douch, who came into the 2022 competition in second place, cashed in for the second time. After having two no-times in Rounds 1 and 2, he changed horses, finished in a tie for third and fourth on Saturday night, then stopped the clock in 7.7 on Sunday to earn $22,851.
The 19-year-old roping sensation Riley Webb finished third with a 7.8 for $17,257. Webb is fourth in the average with 39.4 behind Meged’s 33.0 and Cory Solomon with 35.2.