SAN ANGELO, TX - The San Angelo Rodeo is a popular one, to say the least, with hundreds of men and women looking to take home the buckle. Slack began today. That's where the surplus of cowpokes vie for a chance at some rodeo money. Senora Scott found out why these cowboys come here -- and what keeps them coming back.
With hundreds of entries in some events at the San Angelo Rodeo, why would even more contestants want to throw their name in the hat? Put simply: more contestants means more prize money, and these guys will come from a long way to try to win it all.
"Yeah, Calgary, Alberta."
Tanner Milan and Scot Guenthner are both steer wrestlers. That means they aren't only getting themselves here...they've also got to get their horses here. So, just how long of a drive is it from Canada to West Texas?
"Twenty-six hours,” Milan said.
Tanner travels with up to five other guys, but still. If you're like me, you might be wondering: how in the world do they pass the time?
"We play cards and take turns driving and play on our phones a bunch, and yeah, that's about it. You just kinda go with the flow and just try to get the road safe,” Milan said.
So, why spend days traveling for a chance to compete where they may do well...or they may not?
"Come here 'cause of the money,” Guenthner said.
"Just one of the big rodeos throughout the winter and lots of prize money up for grabs,” Milan said.
San Angelo has a history of having a great rodeo, with a payout to match. And the more guys who enter up, the more money there is to split among the winners.
"I mean, you're going against the world's best, so it tests your abilities of how good you are or not."
"Hopefully, climb up the standings and keep on going down the road,” Milan said.
Pounding the pavement is something these guys are no stranger to. Guenthner took a different mode of travel to San Angelo, but will soon be all over the state and the nation. Leaving one very important -- and, hopefully, understanding -- person back home.
"I actually flew down here on January 18th, I actually just got married on January 7th, so I left ASAP and I'll be down here 'til April until after the California run. So yeah, it's a little different, not going home to see your wife, but you learn to manage with it,” Guenthner said.
Despite being homesick -- and maybe a little carsick -- these cowboys say they'd do it all again...and they will.
"Definitely worth it."
"Worth every minute of it."
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