Dustin Egusquiza heading with Stephen Britnell, heeler, while winning the first go at IFR46 – Photo by Rodeo News
Yesterday 2015 IPRA Team Roping Heading Champion, Dustin Egusquiza with his Heeling Partner Kyle Lawrence won the 2016 George Strait Team Roping Classic. Congratulations Dustin & Kyle!
The IPRA is one of the first association’s Dustin bought a card with. He didn’t start rodeoing until high school, competing mainly in ropings and jackpots beforehand. He qualified for the NHSFR all three years he high school rodeoed in Alabama, winning the state team roping title with heeler Jason Garcia their senior year. “I placed in the tie-down roping at Nationals, but never team roping,” says Dustin, who has since chosen to focus his energy on team roping alone. “I just wasn’t as devoted to tie-down. My brother, Manny Jr., has won the World in the IPRA team roping, and he helps critique me. We rope together in jackpots, where we’ll switch it up so that I heel and he heads.”
Dustin’s dad passed away in April of 2015, but Dustin will always look to him as a role model and the one who introduced him to his dream career. “I didn’t try to rodeo for a living until a few years ago. It’s really the only thing I’m good at!” Dustin jokes. “I love what I do, and I love travelling. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
When he’s not on the rodeo trail, Dustin calls Marianna, Fla., home. “I have steers and a lot of rope horses, so I’m roping every day. The horse I won the World on, Duke, is a bay that my dad trained as a two year old. We sold him when he was four and then bought him back a few years later, and ever since he’s been my good horse,” Dustin explains. “He’s what made me want to head in the rodeos – I felt like I had a good enough horse to compete on.” Dustin’s backup horse helped Manny win his IPRA world title several years ago. “I’m working on getting some more horsepower together, so I have a couple new horses in the works. I used to ride outside horses, but now I’d just rather have a rope horse to practice on,” says Dustin.
Though he might take an afternoon off to go fishing, Dustin rides and ropes 40 hours a week, plus overtime, his favorite Lone Star Rope – the Storm 4-Strand – in hand. He’ll be roping with Brad Culpepper this season, with plans to compete further west this year. “I really need to get some more horses together before I can go hard,” he says, “and I’d love to make the IPRA finals again next year.