Erich Rogers grew up heading, heeling, roping calves and bull dogging on the Navajo Nation, and he's honed his skills in the steer tripping in the last few years in preparation for the Lazy E's CINCH Timed Event Championships. He's been on the edge of greatness in the famed red-dirt arena in years past, and he's as ready as ever this year to get some redemption. Last year he missed the Timed Event because he nearly cut his thumb off at a ranch rodeo, but he's long-since healed and ready for action. Coming off a big win in Fort Worth, Texas, with partner Cory Petska, Rogers is in Texas sharpening up his tripping as we speak.
What horses are you bringing to the CINCH Timed Event Championship?
I’m taking a new head horse I just bought. I’m taking Ote Berry’s grey bull dogging horse, my calf horse Red Light, JoJo LeMond’s tripping horse and Paden Bray’s heel horse Slider.
Who is helping you?
Paden Bray is heeling for me and hopefully JoJo heading. Ote will haze--but I guess I better call him to make sure.
What's the worst wreck you've had there?
I ran into the wall. I was sitting good in the average, and I needed to throw that steer down. I ran down a country mile to get that horse, I got back on, ran him down the wall, jumped, and the steer set up and I went off into the wall.
What was your best finish there?
I won seventh once, I won second in the fast time.
What keeps you coming back?
It’s pretty fun, you don’t get to go to an event like that where you run five head in each event five times. I grew up trying to be an all-around hand–heading, heeling and roping calves. I bull dogged a bit in high school and I always wanted to trip.
How did you learn to trip?
Shannon Stahl told me I had to come to his house and practice. I took his grey horse so I went to practice there. I ran about four steers and off we went. Brent Lewis helped me out quite a bit too.
What do you think about the Jr. Ironman this year?
It’s pretty cool for those young guys. It’s nice for them to have a chance to do something like that and compete in all of the events. They need to know to not give up and to keep trying even if something goes wrong. It's just one steer or calf at a time there.