Justin Blaine Davis keeps Rodeo Austin triumph in perspective | TSLN.com

Justin Blaine Davis keeps Rodeo Austin triumph in perspective

AUSTIN, TX – Steer wrestler Justin Blaine Davis’ birthday is Dec. 1, and he knows what he’d like to get this year. Here’s a clue: The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo starts that day, and Davis has never been.

It’s hard to imagine a better way for a cowboy who has spent all of his adult life in ProRodeo to celebrate his 40th birthday.

And after a win at Rodeo Austin March 26 that moved him to eighth in the world standings, it seems more than just possible, even for a cautious soul like Davis.

“I’m trying not to think that far ahead,” Davis said. “I’ve been in the Top 10 before, but never at the right time. I go for the win at the places where I rodeo, and we’ll see what happens. That’s my philosophy. If it’s in God’s plan, it will happen.”

Davis, you see, has been down this particular road before, and he’s not inclined to tempt fate. He won the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver 12 years ago to lead the world standings for a while. He made strong runs at the NFR in 2006 and last year – and fell short.

“There have been some great moments of achievement followed by long stretches of inconsistency,” Davis said.

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He still loves rodeo, the competition and camaraderie of it, but his priorities have shifted. He has a wife, Melanie, a four-year-old daughter, Stella, and a son, Gus, who turns two in a couple of weeks. His focus is on providing for them and rodeo, by its nature, is an uncertain means to do that.

Davis coached rodeo at Sheridan (WY) College for a couple of years and did some bartending at Billy Bob’s Texas (“World’s Largest Honky Tonk”), and these days, he’s got himself extended all over the place in an effort to build up the kids’ college fund.

He started a company two years ago, MTC Equine, that sells Vitalix products (molasses-based supplements for livestock), and his biggest client is Winstar Farm in Versailles, KY, the outfit that won the Kentucky Derby last year.

“I’m actually pretty popular with them right now,” Davis said.

Davis also works in a fitness store, shoes horses for customers around his Bartonville, TX, home, and he drives 35 miles south to work security at the big Dallas night club Zouk three nights a week (Thursday-Saturday).

“The pay’s good, and you meet some interesting people at Zouk,” Davis said. “It was crazy when the Super Bowl was in town. (Baltimore Ravens linebacker) Ray Lewis, (two-sport star) Deion Sanders and (actor) Jamie Foxx all came by that week.”

When he’s on the road, Melanie takes his place at the fitness store and he works the phones for MTC Equine from wherever he’s got a cell phone signal.

The goal for the rest of the rodeo season is to compete smart. Davis went to 70 rodeos last year, and “that felt like a lot.” He plans to concentrate on the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour events in the spring – Pocatello, ID; Laughlin, NV, and Logandale, NV – go hard over the Fourth of July and then see where he is in the standings.

The issue with his coming up short for the Wrangler NFR last year was horsepower. Davis used his own horse for much of the season, and it just didn’t work out the way he wanted. He used Bill Pace’s horse, BJ, for Rodeo Austin, but Pace doesn’t like to have the horse travel away from Texas precincts.

The plan is to ride Junior, a horse co-owned by Joe Walker and Seth Morgan of Springtown, TX, this spring, and then maybe travel with Morgan and use Junior for the rest of the summer. He’s also looking at buying another horse.

“I’ve dropped 33 pounds since last year, from 278 to 245, so maybe guys will feel better about my riding their horses,” Davis said with a chuckle. “I’m as fit as I’ve ever been. I’ve always worked out, but I started doing mixed martial arts training last September, and that’s when the weight started coming off.”

Davis’ increased strength and fitness paid off in a big way at Austin. His performances got better as the rodeo went on. He was out of the money in the first round with a 4.5-second run, then finished third in round two (3.7) and won the finals in 3.5 seconds. His three-head time of 11.7 seconds edged Baylor Roche by three-tenths of a second and earned him total money of $7,079.

It was his biggest indoor rodeo title since Denver 12 years ago, when he placed in all three rounds and banked more than $15,000.

“It was a little different then,” Davis said. “I wasn’t married then. When I got that check (at Denver), I thought there’d never be a poor day again. I spent that money pretty fast. Things are different now. I have a family, and I’m smarter about money.”

Off to a bit of a slow start in the winter segment of the PRCA season, bull rider Bobby Welsh hooked up with an old “friend” to get back on track at Rodeo Austin.

Welsh, of Gillette, WY, rode Andrews Rodeo’s Reeses Pieces for 89 points to win the final round, clinch the three-head average title and accrue earnings of $7,212 for the week.

The last time Welsh drew that bull, he finished third in Round 7 of last December’s Wrangler NFR with a score of 86.5 points.

Over the last nine months, Reeses Pieces has been ridden successfully just three times in 11 tries, and Welsh has two of those rides. His score of 89 points is the highest on the bull in nearly a year.

Dalton Votaw was the only other bull rider to complete three qualified rides, and he finished five points behind Welsh with a total score of 240.

The other champions crowned March 26 were bareback rider Luke Creasy (245 points on three head), team ropers Derrick Begay and Cesar de la Cruz (15.0 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy (246 points on three head), tie-down roper Houston Hutto (26.6 seconds on three head) and barrel racer Cassie Moseley (45.38 seconds on three runs).

Officials in the Rodeo Austin marketing department reported an 18 percent increase in ticket revenue for the 15-performance rodeo over sales from a year ago. Rodeo attendance was 73,000.

AUSTIN, TX – Steer wrestler Justin Blaine Davis’ birthday is Dec. 1, and he knows what he’d like to get this year. Here’s a clue: The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo starts that day, and Davis has never been.

It’s hard to imagine a better way for a cowboy who has spent all of his adult life in ProRodeo to celebrate his 40th birthday.

And after a win at Rodeo Austin March 26 that moved him to eighth in the world standings, it seems more than just possible, even for a cautious soul like Davis.

“I’m trying not to think that far ahead,” Davis said. “I’ve been in the Top 10 before, but never at the right time. I go for the win at the places where I rodeo, and we’ll see what happens. That’s my philosophy. If it’s in God’s plan, it will happen.”

Davis, you see, has been down this particular road before, and he’s not inclined to tempt fate. He won the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in Denver 12 years ago to lead the world standings for a while. He made strong runs at the NFR in 2006 and last year – and fell short.

“There have been some great moments of achievement followed by long stretches of inconsistency,” Davis said.

He still loves rodeo, the competition and camaraderie of it, but his priorities have shifted. He has a wife, Melanie, a four-year-old daughter, Stella, and a son, Gus, who turns two in a couple of weeks. His focus is on providing for them and rodeo, by its nature, is an uncertain means to do that.

Davis coached rodeo at Sheridan (WY) College for a couple of years and did some bartending at Billy Bob’s Texas (“World’s Largest Honky Tonk”), and these days, he’s got himself extended all over the place in an effort to build up the kids’ college fund.

He started a company two years ago, MTC Equine, that sells Vitalix products (molasses-based supplements for livestock), and his biggest client is Winstar Farm in Versailles, KY, the outfit that won the Kentucky Derby last year.

“I’m actually pretty popular with them right now,” Davis said.

Davis also works in a fitness store, shoes horses for customers around his Bartonville, TX, home, and he drives 35 miles south to work security at the big Dallas night club Zouk three nights a week (Thursday-Saturday).

“The pay’s good, and you meet some interesting people at Zouk,” Davis said. “It was crazy when the Super Bowl was in town. (Baltimore Ravens linebacker) Ray Lewis, (two-sport star) Deion Sanders and (actor) Jamie Foxx all came by that week.”

When he’s on the road, Melanie takes his place at the fitness store and he works the phones for MTC Equine from wherever he’s got a cell phone signal.

The goal for the rest of the rodeo season is to compete smart. Davis went to 70 rodeos last year, and “that felt like a lot.” He plans to concentrate on the Wrangler Million Dollar Tour events in the spring – Pocatello, ID; Laughlin, NV, and Logandale, NV – go hard over the Fourth of July and then see where he is in the standings.

The issue with his coming up short for the Wrangler NFR last year was horsepower. Davis used his own horse for much of the season, and it just didn’t work out the way he wanted. He used Bill Pace’s horse, BJ, for Rodeo Austin, but Pace doesn’t like to have the horse travel away from Texas precincts.

The plan is to ride Junior, a horse co-owned by Joe Walker and Seth Morgan of Springtown, TX, this spring, and then maybe travel with Morgan and use Junior for the rest of the summer. He’s also looking at buying another horse.

“I’ve dropped 33 pounds since last year, from 278 to 245, so maybe guys will feel better about my riding their horses,” Davis said with a chuckle. “I’m as fit as I’ve ever been. I’ve always worked out, but I started doing mixed martial arts training last September, and that’s when the weight started coming off.”

Davis’ increased strength and fitness paid off in a big way at Austin. His performances got better as the rodeo went on. He was out of the money in the first round with a 4.5-second run, then finished third in round two (3.7) and won the finals in 3.5 seconds. His three-head time of 11.7 seconds edged Baylor Roche by three-tenths of a second and earned him total money of $7,079.

It was his biggest indoor rodeo title since Denver 12 years ago, when he placed in all three rounds and banked more than $15,000.

“It was a little different then,” Davis said. “I wasn’t married then. When I got that check (at Denver), I thought there’d never be a poor day again. I spent that money pretty fast. Things are different now. I have a family, and I’m smarter about money.”

Off to a bit of a slow start in the winter segment of the PRCA season, bull rider Bobby Welsh hooked up with an old “friend” to get back on track at Rodeo Austin.

Welsh, of Gillette, WY, rode Andrews Rodeo’s Reeses Pieces for 89 points to win the final round, clinch the three-head average title and accrue earnings of $7,212 for the week.

The last time Welsh drew that bull, he finished third in Round 7 of last December’s Wrangler NFR with a score of 86.5 points.

Over the last nine months, Reeses Pieces has been ridden successfully just three times in 11 tries, and Welsh has two of those rides. His score of 89 points is the highest on the bull in nearly a year.

Dalton Votaw was the only other bull rider to complete three qualified rides, and he finished five points behind Welsh with a total score of 240.

The other champions crowned March 26 were bareback rider Luke Creasy (245 points on three head), team ropers Derrick Begay and Cesar de la Cruz (15.0 seconds on three head), saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy (246 points on three head), tie-down roper Houston Hutto (26.6 seconds on three head) and barrel racer Cassie Moseley (45.38 seconds on three runs).

Officials in the Rodeo Austin marketing department reported an 18 percent increase in ticket revenue for the 15-performance rodeo over sales from a year ago. Rodeo attendance was 73,000.

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