CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Marty Yates had just won his first Cheyenne Frontier Days title, but as he gave interviews to the assembled media, he paused a moment to talk to a most important person – his mother.
Yates said hi to his mother, Angie, through a short cellphone video that was sent to her back home in Texas. He called her soon after, sharing the excitement of the biggest win of his young career.
“This is a dream come true,” Yates said. “You grow up your whole life just wanting to compete at Cheyenne. Then, when you get here and draw well and have a chance to win, you have to capitalize. This is the biggest win of my career.”
Yates was heading back home to Stephenville from Cheyenne with a large smile on his face – and for good reason.
He left the “Daddy of ’Em All” with a total haul of $19,554 – the most any competitor won in a single event in Cheyenne. It will vault him from eighth to somewhere in the top 5 of the Windham Weaponry High Performance PRCA World Standings.
Yates won the first round with a time of 10.0 seconds, placed sixth in the second round and finished second in Sunday’s final round with a time of 11.2. His time of 32.4 seconds on three head was enough to edge Riley Pruitt by nine-tenths of a second.
“This was so huge for me, because I felt like I needed one big win to punch my ticket to my second NFR, and I think this definitely did it for me,” said the 21-year-old Yates. “From now on it’s going to be about trying to keep winning and get as good of a position as I can in the standings.”
He admits that there were some butterflies in his stomach before he made his run in the final round on Sunday.
“I haven’t been that nervous since my first run at the NFR last year,” Yates said. “I don’t usually get that nervous, but this was a huge win for me. The feeling of roping here is unexplainable.”
What makes Yates’ hugely-successful trip to Cheyenne – and his solid season thus far – more impressive is the fact that he’s been without his main horse, Chicken, since March.
The horse has been back in Stephenville recovering from a leg injury, but Yates expects his main mount to be ready to roll very soon.
“My summer has been a struggle, and I’ve been mounting out since April when Chicken got hurt,” he said. “So to be able to win here and make enough money for the NFR before I even get my good horse back is big. It’s a good feeling.”
Other winners at the $814,369 rodeo were all-around cowboy JoJo LeMond ($21,171 in steer roping and team roping), bareback rider Tanner Aus (248 points on three head), steer wrestler Nick Guy (29.3 seconds on three head), team ropers Luke Brown and Kollin VonAhn (28.7 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Bradley Harter (246 points on three head), steer roper Shay Good (52.3 seconds on three head), barrel racer Lisa Lockhart (52.54 seconds on three runs) and bull rider Aaron Pass (245 points on three head).
For in-depth coverage of Cheyenne Frontier Days, check out the August 14 issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.