Sep 1, 2022
Waguespack Believed When Others Wrote Off 2021 Title Chances
Here we go with the final Gold Buckle Buzz of 2022. Our final interview is with 2021 PRCA World Champion Tyler Waguespack. Please enjoy!
By Brian Hurlburt
In 2021, pretty much every fan in the Thomas & Mack Center and those watching on The Cowboy Channel wrote off the chances of Tyler Waguespack winning his third world title after he went 13.1 with a broken barrier in the second go-round of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo®.
The disastrous run put him 14th for the perf, 14th in the NFR average and seventh in the world standings, about $50,000 behind leader Jacob Talley.
There was plenty of chirping from people who had the audacity to ask him who he thought would win the world title since he was “out of it.”
“I had different guys talking. They were talking about, ‘who is going to win the gold buckle?’ and stuff like that,” Waguespack says. “I was sitting back there and they asked me who I thought was going to win the world championship. I said, heck, ‘I think I am.’ Guys were starting to back off the barriers, safety up for the average and stuff. I knew if they kept letting me gather up a check every single night, I could wind up running them down by the end of the week. And I was fortunate enough to make that happen.”
Some folks who never stopped believing were his father, Michael, and his wife, Sarah. When all was said and done and another gold buckle was his, he reflected and realized how special what he had accomplished was.
“I was more proud of that gold buckle than any one of them before,” Waguespack said. “After I took that broke barrier, I sat there and talked to my dad afterwards. I said, ‘man, if I am going to have a chance at the world title, I have to place in every round now.’ I was able to get some good steers and got the ball rolling. I had good momentum and I was able to place in every round and win two of them. I was playing catch up the whole time, but was able to pull it off right at the end.”
Waguespack ended up second in the average, aided by a lightning-quick 3.3 in the seventh go-round, the fastest time of the rodeo. Even though he knew had to cash a check each night to win a world title, he stayed consistent and true to his NFR blueprint, given the unique setup of the Thomas & Mack Center.
“The strategy didn’t change too much because here in Las Vegas, it’s a short start.,” Waguespack says. “We have to go superfast at the barrier. Trevor Brazile said it the best. ‘It’s a marathon that you have to sprint 10 nights in a row.’ Every time we back in the box, we have to keep our foot on the gas and keep it going. I was just fortunate enough to get into a good rhythm and I drew some very good steers throughout that week and was able to climb back up the ladder.”
What also didn’t change was his mindset, especially after the setback during round two. Some other cowboys might have been ruffled by such a situation.
“I had to just kind of block it out,” Waguespack says. “A lot of guys will take one bad run and they will dwell on it the rest of the week. You can’t let one run in in this event take you out of something. We still have nine other rounds. If you can stay buckled down and you place 90 percent of the time, you’re going to come out pretty good.”
Not only did his father help soothe his ego following the broken barrier, Michael has been with Tyler every step—and ride—along the way. Michael was a PRCA steer wrestler in the 1990s and occasionally still hazes for Tyler.
“My dad got me exactly where I am today,” Waguespack says. “He is the one man that grinded through everything. He would come home from work in the afternoon. I know he was tired, but he didn’t care. As long as I wanted to stay in the practice pen, he was there. Whatever I wanted to go and do during the weekends, wherever I wanted to go, he would do whatever. He would always say nothing mattered and there were no excuses because if we could outwork everybody, we could beat anyone. He has pushed me to where I am today. The success is showing, for sure.”
PRCA World Championship number four is in sight for Waguespack because through Aug. 26 he led the world standings with $121,429.79.
We bet nobody is asking him who thinks will win the world title in 2022 …