With $60,444 in earnings, Chet Weitz of London, Texas, has his eyes set on the All Around Resistol Rookie of the Year title following a rough start to the year thanks to a right shoulder injury.
Following a summer of grinding it out, the 22-year-old header and calf roper is finding his confidence again with heeler Clay Green. All around wins for Weitz in 2023 include the Odessa, Texas, Sandhills Stock Show & Rodeo, where he earned $6,305, the West of the Pecos Rodeo in Texas, where he earned $1,358, and the Livingston Roundup Rodeo in Montana, where he earned $1,481.
As the ProRodeo season enters its final month, Weitz trails all around leader Dylan Hancock by $8,679.
Weitz was calf roping at a jackpot early in the year when he lost his stirrup dismounting, dislocating his right shoulder, tearing the labrum and scapula tendon. Surgery repaired the damage, but the mental game was the true battle.
“I was compensating for a while there, swinging and compensating for something that didn’t hurt anymore,” Weitz, said. “I felt like I was behind the ball and losing money being out for my surgery. I feel like I’ve rushed a lot of things and not been myself since then.”
Weitz said he finally started feeling like himself again in late July, but his team roping future was shaky because he and partner Cutter Tomlinson decided to part ways. That’s where Green stepped in, and the two began working on their rodeo run together.
“The key to getting back in it has just been knowing I can win and believing in myself,” Weitz said. “The mind is ridiculous. People think just because you can rope good that you can win. But I’ve learned that you can’t let the mind take over and you need to control it.”
“I wanted to strengthen my walk with God this year, even before all the stuff with my shoulder happened. So, I made it a priority this year, and I feel like he’s testing me and he’s going to make me stronger.”– Chet Weitz
Weitz hails from the Texas Hill County, where he grew up on a cow-calf operation and a high-fence hunting ranch. He played the full slate of sports in the small town of Mason, Texas, and attended Texas Tech University where he won the Southwest Region in calf roping and was second in team roping his freshman year.
“I’ve always done calf roping and team roping,” Weitz said. “Growing up, I’d tie down and go to USTRC ropings the next day. I hate to say this, but roping’s always been pretty easy for me, and I’ve always won. This year’s been tough with the obstacles and the pro competition. You have to be on you’re A-game.
Life of two events
While most cowboys choose to focus on one event, Weitz is holding strong on his love for competing in both. Aside from the strain of hauling solo, Weitz has had to juggle getting up in the right places at the right times for both events, too.
“This year it was a major learning curve,” Weitz said. “I just to try not to let one event dictate the other. If I do bad in the calf roping, I try not to let it affect the team roping and vice versa. That strategy makes my mental game super strong.”
When it comes to riding two different kinds of rope horses, Weitz says that the perspective from switching back and forth allows him to sharpen his horsemanship. If a head horse is ducking, he feels confident about correcting them,, and if a calf horse is trying to get short, he can use his feet like he does in the team roping.
On Chet Weitz’s trailer
Weitz has his hands full with four horses in the trailer—but each have their purpose.
Head horse, 2010 gelding
Curtis Easily Going (Commander Curtis x Easily Leota x Frisco Lena)
CW: He’s more of a short score, building horse.
Head horse, 2005 gelding
Colonel Peppy Sug (Right This Minnick x Miss Sugs Pop x Pop A Top Pep)
CW: Spiderman’s a Salinas, Cheyenne-type horse.
Calf horse, 2007 gelding
Meradas Money Gin (Meradas Money Talks x Miss Hickory Gin x Doc’s Hickory)
CW: He’s more of a short score, tighter, aggressive, makes things happen faster.
Calf horse, 2006 gelding
Frenchbuckbritches (Perty Black Buck x French Lilly x Charley Dickens)
CW: He’s more of a long score, freer-type horse.
Next up for Weitz is the Ellensburg Rodeo in Washington, where he’ll continue to try to close the gap in the Resistol Rookie of the Year All Around race.
This article was originally posted on the Team Roping Journal on Sept. 2, 2023.