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Handling Pressure, Creating Chemistry Fuels Tyler Waguespack to Unexpected 2022 PRCA Steer Wrestling Gold Buckle

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Jun 29, 2023

Handling Pressure, Creating Chemistry Fuels Tyler Waguespack to Unexpected 2022 PRCA Steer Wrestling Gold Buckle

By Brian Hurlburt

If 4-time PRCA Steer Wrestling World Champion Tyler Waguespack didn’t always embrace the pressure and bright lights of Vegas during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge®, well, he probably wouldn’t be such a prolific champion …

But he does, and he is.

The road to the gold buckle for Waguespack isn’t always easy, but there is never quit in his giddy up nor his mindset.

Tyler Waguespack during Round 6 of the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. | PRCA Photo by Click Thompson

“I’ve said it several times, I love the pressure and I feel like I thrive on pressure,” said Waguespack, a few months removed from winning his most recent gold buckle. “I love being backed in the corner. I would rather be at a rodeo where you have to be super fast to win than when you just have to make a solid run to win. I compete best whenever I have pressure on me.”

The win in 2022 came out of nowhere and at the expense of a buddy, but would not have been possible had Waguespack given up when things looked bleak. He put in good rides down the stretch, co-winning round 8 and then finishing in the money in rounds 9 and 10.

But even with that late flourish, it seemed nearly a foregone conclusion that Waguespack would finish behind Will Lummus. 

However, his good friend didn’t finish in the money in round 9 and broke the barrier in round 10. All-of-a-sudden, Waguespack was the champion.

“This past year was a blessing and I was very surprised to come out on top in the end,” Waguespack said. “I made a horse change halfway through the week, which was outstanding. I hopped on Rowdy Parrott’s horse, DC, and we really clicked during those last four rounds. I had never ridden him before the NFR and Remy Parrott was on the haze side. The chemistry we had between the horses, me and Remy out there in the arena was awesome.”

The most detailed action shot of Tyler Waguespack during the Wrangler NFR in 2022. | PRCA Photo by Phil Doyle

Waguespack was quick to credit Lummus for a terrific NFR, and it was clear the circumstances dampened the celebration.

“Absolutely coming into that night, I thought that Will Lummus was going to be the world champ, but unfortunately for him, it didn’t play out that way,” Waguespack said. “I walked up to Will and we hugged each other and he told me congratulations. I said, ‘Man, you deserve it just as much as I do to be up there.’ My hat is off to him because during the moment when everything was not going well for him, he was still my friend and congratulated me. I have tons of respect for that guy. We talk a few times a week and he is always joking with me about last year. He says we will get back after it again this December.”

Through June 26, Waguespack was third in the PRCA Steer Wrestling standings with a long summer of rodeo still ahead. Waguespack travels the circuit with four other steer wrestlers, including rookie Cash Robb, who was ranked 13th. Also in the group are the Parrott brothers and Jacob Talley, who was 4th in the standings. The Parrott brothers have some work to do and are not currently in the top 15.

“Everybody in the rig is super positive and we push each other to do better, and that keeps the mojo flowing,” Waguespack said. “Everybody in our group who backs in the box has a great chance at winning and that is showing up in the standings.”

The goal for the five is to be in the NFR come December, a setting and rodeo unlike any other.

“I don’t know what a Super Bowl or a World Series feels like, but I know that the adrenaline running through me during the NFR at the Thomas & Mack Center has got to be something right along those lines,” Waguespack said.

The pressure will once again be on … just the way he likes it.