Leading up to NFR, Tavenner wins RAM Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo
Dirk Tavenner’s 2021 just keeps getting better and better. He punched his ticket to his first NFR on Sept. 30 and now he’s the RAM Wilderness Circuit Finals Rodeo champion in the steer wrestling.
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 average title with a 12.5-second time on three head.
“Headed into the circuit finals my goal was to try and go in there and hit the barrier every time and just see what happens,” said Tavenner, 31. “My horse Oscar came out and did a great job for me all weekend. I was thrilled to come away with the win.”
The state of Utah was kind to Tavenner this past rodeo season, he won titles in Ogden, Oakley City, and Tremonton. He claimed the year-end title as well in the Wilderness Circuit, he says it never gets old competing alongside guys he grew up rodeoing with.
“It’s always enjoyable going to circuit rodeos,” Tavenner said. “You get to see a lot of your friends who have daily jobs and maybe don’t get to rodeo as much as you do. It’s kind of nice to be able to stay in one spot for a while too and not having 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 rodeoing in the PRCA. He said this win gives him a key jolt headed into December.
“It’s all about confidence for me,” Tavenner said. “It’s all about finding a way to win in this sport and this kind of gets you rolling. Hopefully I can build off this and keep things rolling in the right direction headed into the Finals.”
The NFR runs Dec.2-11 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Tavenner is sitting 10th in the PRCA | RAM World Standings headed into the rodeo.
Other winners at the $182,660 rodeo were all-around cowboy Stetson Wright, $2,555 (saddle bronc & bull riding); bareback rider Mason Clements (264 points on three head); team ropers Quinn Kesler/Caleb Hendrix (20.0 seconds on three head); breakaway roper Candida Eldridge (8.8 seconds on three head); barrel racer Macee McAllister (46.88 seconds on three runs); tie-down roper Jake Hannum (28.0 seconds on three head); saddle bronc riders Ryder Wright and Mitch Pollock (258 points on three head); and bull rider Josh Frost (259.5 points on three head).