Freeze Frame with Justin Davis

This was the second round at the Oakdale (Calif.) Saddle Club Rodeo, and we were one of the last teams out. We had to be 8.0 to win the rodeo, and it was a muddy mess—it had rained quite a bit Friday and Saturday. By the time we were up Sunday, the sun was out but the arena was deep mud.
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This was the second round at the Oakdale (Calif.) Saddle Club Rodeo, and we were one of the last teams out. We had to be 8.0 to win the rodeo, and it was a muddy mess—it had rained quite a bit Friday and Saturday. By the time we were up Sunday, the sun was out but the arena was deep mud.

Start

It’s tough because both header and heeler come from the heeler’s box at Oakdale. Nick (Sartain) said he had to see daylight past the end of the gate and go run them down. There were some better steers in there, but not many of them. I told Nick before we left if we were 8 on one and 9 on the other, we’d win money. He looked at me funny.

Nick (Sartain)

He got a great start. He set me up really well. He turned him really nice, and I got to heel him on the second hop. Nick didn’t reach a long way, but he threw a coil and set him up and let me come around there and heel him.

Steer

Oakdale is chute-run instead of a draw, so you don’t know what you’ll get until you get in there. Our steer was probably medium for the herd. He wasn’t slow, but he wasn’t the fastest in the set either. Some guys were making good runs at the back end of the arena and a few had lopers.

Location

We’re about in the middle of the arena. It took forever to get to him. Running down through the arena, it felt sticky. I had to ask my horse to keep running and really drive. I tried to stay around him as much as I could without getting stuck to the inside. I rode her all the way into my throw. I had ridden her so much into her stop to try to get close enough to put a good loop down there in the mud, my left hand is back pulling on her to get her into the ground.

Shakira

The mud didn’t bother her at all. I never ran her through it before we ran that steer. I warmed her up in the grass parking lot because the warm up pen was muddy, and away we went. She’s 12 this year, and she’s about as seasoned as they get right now.

Delivery

I didn’t throw it harder or anything like that, but I definitely made sure I had power on my rope coming into the corner. I wanted to place a normal loop down there and let it open up.

Finish

We won third in the round on this one with an 8.1, and we were second in the average with 17.2 seconds on two head to get out of there with $3,088 a man.