Steer wrestlers Kurt Stallings and Christian Pettigrew saw both ends of the competitive spectrum this weekend.
They each won in a rodeo on Friday night at Fort Sumner — Pettigrew in calf-roping — but both cowboys came up empty in Saturday’s competition at the 42nd annual Pioneer Days Rodeo at Curry County Events Center.
Stallings, 28, a Texico High graduate whose family moved from Albuquerque to the Clovis area when he was about 15, said it’s all in the game.
“It just happens,” said Stallings, who now lives in Canyon, Texas. “You lose a lot more than you win in rodeo, so you’d better get used to it.
“I won one last night, so that’s good enough.”
Pettigrew, 21, a Fort Sumner High grad who will be a senior at Eastern New Mexico University in the fall, was competing in just his second Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned event. He said he eventually wants to do calf-roping at the PRCA level as well.
“I work hard at both events,” he said. “They’re completely different, but as far as the preparation, it’s the same.”
Stallings, who has been on the PRCA circuit for six years, plans to be busy with seven rodeos in the next couple of weeks. Pettigrew will be on pretty much the same schedule and said he’s trying to follow in the footsteps of Stallings and Artesia native and fellow steer wrestler Kody Moore, who are older with more experience.
“I’m just on my (PRCA) permit,” he said. “I have to go to 14 (PRCA) rodeos to be able to go to the circuit finals (in Las Cruces, which takes in Arizona and New Mexico), but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that this year because I got a late start.”
The 5-foot-6, 170-pound Stallings works as a personal trainer in the Amarillo area, and hauls hay on weekends. He said the injuries sustained in the event, which for him have included knee injuries and a shoulder surgery, are offset by the joy he gets from the sport.
“It’s just the competitive aspect of it,” he said. “Most of the guys in steer wrestling are big, but I just grew up doing it.”
The three-day rodeo finishes today with a 2 p.m. performance.