No complaints

Tsinigine enjoying ‘real good year’

Editor’s note: This is the third in a four-part series featuring Navajo rodeo heroes Derrick Begay, Erich Rogers, Aaron Tsinigine and Kassidy Dennison.


Man on horse pulling bridle

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
Tuba City team roper Aaron Tsinigine started the year winning two prestigious roping events, earning over $150,000. The 2015 PRCA world champion is looking for a return trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in early December.

Outside of the PRCA circuit, Aaron Tsinigine has had a blissful and productive year.

“I can’t complain,” the 2015 PRCA world champion said in a telephone interview on Tuesday night. “I’ve had a real good year.”

The Tuba City native won two prestigious events to start the year.

In February, Tsinigine took home $50,000 by finishing in a two-way tie for first at the Wild Fire Ranch Open to the World Team Roping with heeling partner Patrick Smith.

With a 37.79 aggregate on six steers, they tied with Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira during the one-day event in Salado, Texas.

In March, Tsinigine teamed up with Clay Cooper as the pair roped three draws in 14.47 seconds, which included a fastest run of 4.21 seconds in the last day of the two-day event. They edged Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith by three-hundredths of a second for the title.

That roping paid Tsinigine $100,000. In addition he was also awarded a brand new truck and a trailer that he is currently hauling.


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“You know those are two ropings that some people don’t get to win,” Tsinigine said. “It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime deal for both ropings and I got it done in one year.

“I can’t complain but my (PRCA) rodeo season is not going so good,” he added. “But in the end it’s going to be all OK.”

Tsinigine is currently ranked No. 37 in the world with $20,230 won. He is only $12,000 short of that important No. 15 slot as the top 15 cowboys earn their ticket to the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, in early December.

“There is a lot of rodeos left and I am ready to win,” said Tsinigine, who recently teamed up with his longtime partner Ryan Motes.

Tsinigine said for the last 30 days he has roped “terrible” and when he went home after the recent Cowboy Christmas it gave him a chance to reflect on his 2015 season when he won his first world title in his second appearance at the NFR.

“I hardly wear that buckle,” he said. “It’s been sitting there in the closet and the other day I looked at it and I said to myself, ‘Man that actually happened.’”

With his struggles, Tsinigine said looking at his gold buckle helps him overcome the strain to be on top of his game.

“There is a lot of mind game and a lot of stress that goes on with rodeoing,” he said. “If you want to be in the top 10 you have to be thinking about it almost 24 hours a day, thinking about how to get better.”

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Categories: Rodeo

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at