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Waguespack has memorable WCC in Kissimmee

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – When opportunity finally knocked, steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack did more than just answer.

Waguespack, competing in his first career Wrangler Champions Challenge, presented by Justin Boots, captured the title with a 4.2-second time at the Silver Spurs Arena Oct. 3.

“I was wanting to get in one of these Champions Challenges, and I always missed by just a little bit all throughout last year,” said Waguespack, who was competing for the Coors Banquet team. “The first one of this season (in Kissimmee), I was the first man on the waiting list and there was a turnout and I was able to come and compete. It worked out really good. It was meant to be, I guess.”

The $5,780 check was a huge boost for Waguespack’s 2016 season.

“It was great to start the year off like that,” the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Waguespack said. “Last year, I didn’t have even $1,500 won by the end of the winter, so this definitely is a lot better than how I started off last year.”

The win was even sweeter for Waguespack because his father, Mike, was his hazer.

“I was riding my horse (Outlaw) and my dad was riding his horse (Roanie),” said Tyler, 24. “He’s been at home the whole time while I’ve been out on the road the whole summer. I got the call to go to the Champions Challenge and he loaded up with me and came down here. My dad was super excited to be down here and it was really special to win. The start here was fairly fast and I knew when I crossed the line I either broke out or got out great, and things worked out.”

The victory not only jump-started the 2016 season for Waguespack, but also gave him some momentum as he heads to his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Dec. 3-12 in Las Vegas. He finished the regular season seventh in the standings with $75,245.

“I wish we were pulling in there right now, because I’m ready to go,” Waguespack said. “I don’t know any way to keep myself calm. I’ve been dreaming about that rodeo forever. I know the first night my heart is going to be beating out of my chest, but hopefully I will be able to get through it and keep going.”

Other winners at the $132,000 rodeo were bareback rider George Gillespie IV (85 points on Silver Spurs Rodeo’s Ned Ross) of Team Experience Kissimmee, team ropers Kaleb Driggers and Travis Graves (4.6 seconds) of Team Coors Banquet, and Jake Barnes and Junior Nogueira (4.6 seconds) of Team RAM, saddle bronc rider Jacobs Crawley (81 points on Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Miss Congeniality) of Team B&W Trailer Hitches, tie-down roper Ryan Jarrett (8.4 seconds) of Texas Landmen, barrel racer Carley Richardson (15.84 seconds) of Team Las Vegas and bull rider Dalan Duncan (81 points on Silver Spurs Rodeo’s Sanchez) of Team Coors Banquet.

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