JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
HAMILTON — Marble Falls High School students Ryan Becker, Tyler Ryan and Tyler Horn qualified March 8 for the state rodeo finals of the Texas High School Rodeo Association as team ropers.
Becker and Ryan are partners, while Horn paired with Liberty Hill resident Clayton Coone.
Consistency is part of qualifying since each had to compete in Region 10’s 12 rodeos during the past several months to earn a cumulative score. Both team roping pairs finished in the top 10 to advance to the state finals, which is in Abilene on June 5-13.
For Horn and Coone, the 12th rodeo was their last chance to qualify. Becker and Ryan entered the event already in the top 10. They finished seventh overall with 41 points.
Horn and Coone decided to concentrate on the details, believing their time would be good enough in the end. Horn said that strategy paid off as they clocked 9.02 seconds and earned 29 overall points for 10th place.
“I worked hard,” he said. “In all 12 rodeos, I tried to do my best.”
Ryan said he thought his and Becker’s time might have pushed Horn and Coone out of the top 10. So when the final results were announced, Becker and Ryan were happy that all four moved on.
“It’s going to be wonderful,” Ryan said. “I’ve never been (to the Texas High School Rodeo) before. It’s going to be a heck of an experience.”
Becker, a junior, qualified for the junior high rodeo finals in the seventh and eight grades and the high school finals as a freshman. Last year, he was one spot away from qualifying.
Horn previously advanced in the junior high division.
Becker and Ryan both describe their friendship as more like that of brothers. The two have been roping together for two years.
“It’s a good fit,” Becker said. “We’re around each other all the time. We know each other so well. He knows how to push my buttons.”
Going into the final rodeo, Ryan said he was confident he and Becker would advance.
“He grew up roping; I’ve only been in it for four years,” he said. “We have that chemistry. In roping, he knows what I’m going to do, and I know what he’s going to do.”
The top four team roping squads at the state rodeo finals advance to the national rodeo finals, which will be in Wyoming. Becker said winning the state of Texas is considered a leg up.
“The state of Texas wins nationals almost every year,” he said.