Dirk Tavenner’s 2021 keeps getting better and better. He ticketed his to his first NFR on September 30 and is now the RAM Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo champion in steer fighting.
The Rigby, Idaho, cowboy was a model of consistency in Heber City, Utah, over the weekend. He had three runs, all under 4.3 seconds to capture the title average with a time of 12.5 seconds in three heads.
“Heading into the circuit finals, my goal was to try to get in and hit the barrier every time and see what happens,” said Tavenner, 31. “My horse Oscar came out and did a great job for me all weekend. He was delighted to come out with the victory.”
The state of Utah was kind to Tavenner last rodeo season, he won titles at Ogden, Oakley City and Tremonton. He also claimed the year-end title at the Wilderness Circuit, says he never goes out of style racing alongside the guys he grew up rodeo with.
“It’s always nice to go to the rodeo circuit,” Tavenner said. “You get to see a lot of your friends who have day jobs and maybe they don’t make as much of the rodeo as you do. It’s nice to be able to stay in one place for a while too and not have to drive all over.”
Tavenner will now shift his focus to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. It will be his first trip to the NFR after 13 years of rodeo in the PRCA. He said this win gives him a key jolt heading into December.
“For me, it’s about confidence,” Tavenner said. “It’s about finding a way to win in this sport and this gets you going. Hopefully I can build on this and keep things heading in the right direction towards the Finals.”
The NFR will take place December 2-11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Tavenner ranks 10th in PRCA | RAM World Standings headed for the rodeo.
RELATED: PRCA | RAM World standings
Other winners at the $ 182,660 rodeo were cowboy Stetson Wright, $ 2,555 (saddle and bull riding); bareback jockey Mason Clements (264 points in three heads); Team Ropemen Quinn Kesler / Caleb Hendrix (20.0 seconds on three heads); breakaway showgirl Candida Eldridge (8.8 seconds on three heads); barrel racer Macee McAllister (46.88 seconds in three races); striker Jake Hannum (28.0 seconds on three heads); saddle bronc jockeys Ryder Wright and Mitch Pollock (258 points on three heads); and jockey Josh Frost (259.5 points in three heads).