The last time Cade Staton competed at the San Angelo (Texas) Rodeo, the Franklin, Texas, steer wrestler had one of his career highlights, finishing second in the average and bagging nearly $8,000 a little more than a year ago.
In his return to the San Angelo Coliseum Friday, Staton once again performed well at this rodeo somewhat close to home. So well, in fact, that his blazing, 3.8-second run in the finals gave him the average title by one-tenth of a second.
Except he didn’t know it until long after the round was over.
“When it was all set and done, I thought I had split first,” Staton said. “My hazer (Shayde Etherton) was there and yelled, ‘Heck, yeah!’ and gave me a fist bump. I looked at the big screen and saw I was a tenth faster than the guy (Taz Olson) I thought I split with. Shayde asked if I was going to take a victory lap, but I didn’t know if I was supposed to. (Announcer) Boyd (Polhamus) was right there, and he didn’t say anything, so I just walked out of the arena.”
Staton jumped from 23rd to 10th in the latest PRCA|RAM World Standings after earning $8,204, a shot of much-needed momentum and confidence for the 28-year-old who has held his PRCA card since 2012 and earlier this month made his second appearance in the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo.
“I’ve been looking forward to having a big kick before the summer, so it was nice to get that big jump to get me where I wanted to be,” Staton said. “I didn’t do very well at other tour rodeos this winter, just placing along at some of the smaller ones. It was good to do well at a big one.”
Riding FedX, a horse owned by Staton’s mother-in-law, Amye Craig, Staton made quick work of his final-round steer, making up a 0.6-second deficit entering the round.
“I just treated it like another one-header,” said Staton, who won in 11.8 seconds on three head. “I just had to blow the start out and make the best run on the steer they gave me. That’s all I can control. With FedX and Shayde riding a great hazing horse, Rampage, it makes my job easy. All I have to do is work on myself.”
Staton represented Sam Houston State University at the College National Finals Rodeo in 2016 and broke out soon after but managed to only nickel-and-dime his way down the ProRodeo trail. He then put his agribusiness/agricultural business operations degree and a family connection to work and became (and still is) an oil and fuel salesman for Austin, Texas-based Arnold Oil Company, while still competing at smaller rodeos in the Texas Circuit.
With the family’s finances in order by 2020, Staton, with advice from his wife, Katherine, decided to hit the rodeo road hard once again. With his performance in San Angelo, he might actually get a chance at a long-awaited victory lap, sooner than later.
“My wife gave me all the encouragement in the world,” said Staton, who is a father of three girls, 9, 8, and 1. “I went hard last year but didn’t have the summer I wanted, but I didn’t feel like it was a failure at all (he finished 26th in the final world standings). I feel comfortable going out now, and I never imagined winning a rodeo like San Angelo. This is what we were hoping would be par for the course. I just have to keep my head down and keep going and hope it all works out. I’ve had the same goal from the start of the year until now, which is to make the National Finals Rodeo.”
Other winners at the $573,256 rodeo were bareback rider Caleb Bennett (175.5 points on two head); team ropers Clay Tryan/Jake Long (12.8 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Chet Johnson (171 points on two head); tie-down roper Tuf Cooper (25.3 seconds on three head); barrel racer Wenda Johnson (44.01 seconds on three runs); and bull rider Trey Benton III (171 points on two head). Clint Robinson and Tanner Green shared all-around honors after both won $4,696 in tie-down roping and team roping.
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