Deskovick splits go-round win at Rodeo Houston

By Joe Naiman

Matt Deskovick shared a steer wrestling go-round win at Rodeo Houston.

The Ramona cowboy had a time of 5.3 seconds on March 1, which shared first place in the third go-round with Zack Cobb of Pampa, Texas. Deskovick and Cobb each received $1,850 for their go-round positions.

Deskovick also placed fourth in the second go-round Feb. 29, earning $500 after a 10.6-second run. A 10-second penalty for a broken barrier in the first go-round Feb. 28 gave him a time of 15.0 seconds; an official time of 5.0 seconds would have won that go-round, which was paced by the 5.2-second time of Ashland, Kansas, cowboy Jule Hazen.

“Houston’s pretty awesome,” Deskovick said. “It’s a great rodeo.”

Because Rodeo Houston does not adhere to Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association format standards, it is no longer sanctioned by the PRCA, and earnings do not count toward PRCA standings.

“It would be nice if it was PRCA just because it would have counted toward my year-end standing, but it all pays,” Deskovick said.

Even if the rodeo had been PRCA-sanctioned, the $500 Deskovick was paid to sign autographs after the performance wouldn’t have counted toward his earnings in the standings.

“They take care of you like no other rodeo. It’s a pretty good gig,” he said.

In 2011 Deskovick qualified for the All American ProRodeo Series finals, which has a progressive round format. He and Riley Duvall of Checotah, Okla., shared the fastest time in the final round, although the tiebreaking criteria of the better time in the previous round gave Duvall the official championship. Deskovick still earned $10,208 for the rodeo along with significant recognition.

That recognition earned him opportunities to compete in invitation-only rodeos.

“I got into so many good rodeos, I really don’t not want to take advantage,” he said. “They’re such good deals and hard to get into.”

Deskovick’s invitations included the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver.

“I’m not going to turn down the opportunity to go to Denver,” he said.

Deskovick did not win any money at Denver, nor did his trips to Texas result in payouts at Odessa, Fort Worth, or San Angelo. He earned $1,474 at the Feb. 9-25 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.

Deskovick placed in two go-rounds at San Antonio. His second run took him 5.0 seconds and gave him fourth place in the go-round along with $491. Although he broke a barrier in the third go-round for a 10-second penalty, the 18.6-second official time was still worth third place and $983.

Deskovick didn’t keep all of that money. A steer wrestler traditionally provides 25 percent of his earnings to the hazer who guides the steer, and, if he borrows another cowboy’s horse, the horse owner also receives 25 percent. Deskovick’s own steer wrestling horse, Booger Red, has a torn ligament, which might be a career-ending injury. Kyle Whitaker of Chambers, Neb., was Deskovick’s hazer at San Antonio, and Deskovick rode Whitaker’s horse.

The San Antonio rodeo also has a progressive round format. Deskovick missed qualifying for the semifinal round on the tiebreaker.

“It was cool that I even got in it,” Deskovick said.

Rodeo Houston also utilizes progressive rounds. It is now held at Reliant Stadium, a 72,000-seat facility that also hosts a National Football League team.

“That stadium is pretty awesome,” Deskovick said. “It’s packed every night.”

Deskovick rode Duvall’s horse at Rodeo Houston. Duvall’s father, Sam, was Deskovick’s hazer.

Riley Duvall placed third, behind Deskovick and Cobb, in the third go-round with a time of 5.6 seconds The split of first and second meant that Deskovick and Cobb shared the combined payout for those two positions rather than either earning $2,500 for winning the go-round outright. Deskovick fell $150 short of qualifying for the next round.

Deskovick brought his wife and daughters to Rodeo Houston.

“The girls loved it,” he said.

The family watched Kid Rock in concert while in Houston, as Rodeo Houston has a concert after the rodeo each night. Deskovick’s wife accompanied him to San Antonio.

“It’s fun to go to the bigger rodeos like that,” Deskovick said.

The rodeohouston.com website had live streaming nightly.

“I don’t think any rodeo’s ever done it except for Houston,” Deskovick said.

Cowboys give each other tips about stock, and Deskovick found out about the live streaming feature after some of his colleagues called to ask about his draws.

“I didn’t even know it until after they called me,” he said.

Deskovick has no rodeo plans until the Oakdale Saddle Club rodeo in April.

“I kind of work for a living,” said Deskovick, who owns Catt Farm & Ranch Supply, Desko Construction, and Kendison Barns and Manufacturing.

   
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