Coming off the heels of a disappointing 2022 NFR, Shane Hanchey rebounded with Round 3 win at the WCRA Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo in Fort Worth. There, he stopped the clock at 8.22 to pick up $1,600 in round money.
The first place round finish will see Hanchey—the 2013 World Champion Calf Roper—coming back for the Showdown Round on Saturday Dec. 17.
“As it unfolded, it was nice knowing a 10.5 was second when I backed in there,” Hanchey explained. “You don’t need a game plan much with these calves. It’s fastest man wins, so as long as they take the tie, wrap and a hooey and you can get back on your horse.”
Joining Hanchey in the fray of top calf ropers is Pecos Tatum of La Plata, New Mexico. Tatum tied in 9.48 to earn $1,200 and the second-place spot in Round 3. The six ropers who placed first or second in each of the three qualifying rounds will now compete alongside the WCRA’s top seeded calf roper, 2020 World Champ Shad Mayfield in today’s Showdown Round. There, they will try to advance to the three-man finals in tonight’s Triple Crown of Rodeo Round.
The allure? A guaranteed $15,000 to the winner of the four-day 2022 WCRA Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo.
No Buggin Here
Riding his new teammate Stylish Bugsy, Hanchey is motivated to get more runs in after a disappointing NFR.
“I just need some reps on him,” said Hanchey, who finished 14th in the world this year. “I’m a sports guy; you’re not going to have a new quarterback and wide receiver just come in and light it up. You’ve got to get your reps in. You’ve got to get in timing with each other. That’s what I’m looking for now.”
The 10-year-old gelding boasts names like Dual Pep, Smart Little Lena and Doc’s Stylish Oak on his papers.
“He’s experienced, [and] he’s been around for a couple of years,” Hanchey said. “It’s just us getting on the same page.”
Rest For the Weary?
Alongside NFR barrel racer and breakaway roper wife Taylor, Hanchey has been hitting the practice pen hard following this year’s NFR.
“We haven’t slept much,” Hanchey said. “We’ve both been really sick since we got back. I think that’s everybody.
“But what’s crazy about [Taylor] is she doesn’t let me mope around much,” Hanchey continued. “She didn’t do good in Vegas, and I didn’t do good at all, so it was no resting around. We had to get up and get better.”
For Hanchey, getting a confidence-building run on “Bugsy” in a lower-pressure place like the Cowtown Coliseum was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Cowtown Christmas Setup
The Cowtown Christmas Championship Rodeo is one of three WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo events, and pays out more than $360,000 over the four-day 2022 rodeo. It also offers the potential to earn $1 million if an athlete clinches a Triple Crown hat trick.
From Dec. 14–16, the calf roping will host 24 contestants total, broken into groups of eight per night. The top two competitors from each of the three nights’ qualifying rounds will then advance to Saturday’s Showdown Round on Dec. 17, 2022.
There, the six qualifying go-round riders will compete alongside the No. 1 WCRA-seeded athlete in a battle for a top-three finish. Those top three competitors will then return to the arena Saturday night for the WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo Round and a winning check worth $15,000.