Deskovick wins Hastings, likely qualifies for All American finals

By Joe Naiman

Business owner, family man, and Ramona Community Planning Group member Matt Deskovick has been traveling all over the western half of the United States recently to compete in rodeos. He’s earned thousands of dollars and a likely berth in the All American ProRodeo Series finals next month.

Deskovick, who owns Catt Farm and Ranch Supply in Ramona, returned from a trip to Hastings, Neb., where he competed in the Sept. 2-4 Oregon Trail Rodeo and won the second steer wrestling go-round, the steer wrestling average, $2,132, and the probable spot in the All American ProRodeo Series.

“I’m glad to win it,” Deskovick said Monday from the road. “I needed to win a little money.”

Whether the Hastings earnings will pay for his trip depends upon his success at his other two rodeos this week, one in the Wyoming town of Evanston and the other in Salt Lake City. Winnings also help cowboys in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association standings, as cowboys are ranked on their season earnings.

The PRCA created the All American ProRodeo Series to provide part-time cowboys such as Deskovick with the opportunity for a relatively high-paying finals and to boost participation at the smaller rodeos, which aren’t as prestigious as the higher-paying PRCA rodeos but which are crucial to the PRCA’s developmental needs. The 30 cowboys with the top All American ProRodeo Series earnings in each event qualify for the series finals in Waco, Texas.

Earlier in the rodeo year Deskovick, who is 38, decided to attempt to qualify for the All American finals.

“I’m running out of time,” he said.

For part of the season Deskovick had other priorities. “I forgot all about it,” he said.

The goal of the All American finals returned to Deskovick last month. “Something crossed my mind,” he said.

Deskovick called the PRCA to learn his position in the standings. He was fewer than 10 positions away from the top 30. Qualifying for the All American finals also requires participation in at least 30 series rodeos, and Deskovick had competed in 21.

“I looked to see where I could enter,” he said. “The only way I could do it was if I came out to Oklahoma and the Midwest.”

Deskovick’s time at the Aug. 19-20 rodeo in Tehachapi didn’t win him any money in California that weekend, and after that rodeo he drove with his children, ages 6 and 4, to Oklahoma. A 10-second penalty for a broken barrier cost him a chance to win money at the Original Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo in Vinita, and his time at the Great Plans Stampede Rodeo in Altus failed to place.

Deskovick left his horses in Oklahoma and flew with his children into Ontario Airport, where his wife picked them up on Aug. 28. Deskovick competed in that day’s performance of the Norco Mounted Posse Rodeo, placing third with a run of 7.3 seconds to win $469.

After working for three days, Deskovick flew back to Oklahoma and then drove to Longford, Kansas, for the Sept. 2-3 Longford Rodeo. He was penalized for a broken barrier at Longford.

Deskovick’s next rodeo was the Campbell County Rodeo in Herried, S.D. Deskovick searched for Herried on MapQuest, which assumed that Deskovick was traveling to Herrick and gave a four-hour travel estimate to the South Dakota town just north of the Nebraska state line.

“I thought it was on the southern border,” Deskovick said.

Deskovick called the PRCA, whose representative did not know where Herried was. He then phoned a South Dakota cowboy, who informed Deskovick that Herried is along U.S. Highway 83 just south of the North Dakota state line. Travel time from Longford to Herried is approximately nine hours.

“It was a hike to get up there,” Deskovick said.

Tyler Haugen of Sturgis served as Deskovick’s hazer and guided the Mosbrucker Rodeo steer. Deskovick’s Sept. 3 run of 4.6 seconds placed fourth and won $176.

“I was glad that I finally made a run without breaking a barrier,” said Deskovick, who rode Booger Red. “It was nice to finally win something.”

The Oregon Trail Rodeo has two go-rounds, and Deskovick made both of his runs Sept. 4. He spent the night in Valentine, Neb., where the temperature was about 40 degrees.

“I didn’t think it would be that cold this time of year,” he said. “I had my heater going in the camper. My horses were giving me dirty looks.”

The temperature was in the triple digits when Deskovick and his horses were in Oklahoma.

“My horses were sweating in Oklahoma,” he said.

Deskovick’s first run at Hastings took 5.5 seconds, putting him into the lead before four subsequent runs between 4.5 and 4.7 seconds put Deskovick one spot out of a go-round payout. Spud Duvall hazed for Deskovick in the first go-round.

Tom Duvall was Deskovick’s hazer for the second go-round. Deskovick and Booger Red had a time of 3.6 seconds.

“Second run went really good. Drew a good steer and got out perfect. Horse worked perfect and made a good run,” Deskovick said.

Deskovick won $1,064 for his go-round win. Lance Volker had the second-place go-round time at 3.8 seconds.

Deskovick’s two-head average (aggregate) of 9.1 seconds gave him another $1,064 as the average winner. Shane Henderson’s average of 10.4 seconds placed second. Korkow Rodeos was the stock contractor at Hastings.

Deskovick had traveled further in the past to win money, but the primary purpose of that trip to New Jersey was to visit family. “I’m not in a big hurry to do it again,” Deskovick said of nine rodeos in a two-week period. “I’m sick of driving. I’d never make a good professional rodeo cowboy.”

   
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