Preparation and luck make all the difference at the Northern Navajo Fair Rodeo
For all the work he put in during the 105th annual Northern Navajo Fair, Rooster Yazzie was rendered speechless.
The Coyote Canyon cowboy finished second in the average race in the steer wrestling (52.18) and fourth in the tie-down (34.87) event to claim this year’s men’s all-around title.
“I’m still learning,” the Tohatchi High School junior said when asked of his latest exploits.
Yazzie, who qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in late July, said he did not expect to be in contention in the all-around race since he broke out in the opening round of the steer wrestling event and he was long in the tie-down event.
But during Sunday’s short round he managed to stay in the hunt, as he placed high enough in both events. He finished third in the steer wrestling with a time of 27.66 and fourth in the tie-down event with a run of 19.29 seconds.
“I wanted to catch him and get him down,” Yazzie said of his draw in the steer wrestling that gave him fits when it fell on the opposite side.
As for the tie-down event, he picked a perfect time to get two draws tied as some of the short round competitors ran into trouble.
“I’m not as experienced as the other ropers so I just wanted to catch him and get him tied,” Yazzie said.
Of all the tie-down ropers that competed, it was Crownpoint cowboy Benson Charley who was the most consistent as he won the average race in 24.96 seconds, including a 12.99 run in Sunday’s short round.
“The calves were pretty much even so it was all about taking care of business,” Charley said. “It came down to the horse, groundwork, and draws.”