WACO, Texas - Rodeo victories have been plentiful for Vin Fisher Jr. during his PRCA career.
Yet ever since the Andrews, Texas, steer roper joined the PRCA in 2001 he had never won the average at the RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo.
That changed Jan. 4.
Fisher captured the average title with a 34.4-second time on three head at the Extraco Coliseum.
The 15-time qualifier for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping (2002-2003, 2005-2006, 2008-18) couldn’t hide his joy.
“I think this was the 18th Texas Circuit Finals I’ve been to and I had never won the average,” said Fisher, 37. “I tell you what, I was as excited (Jan. 4) as I have ever been to win any roping. My only shot to qualify for the National Circuit Finals Steer Roping (in the spring in Torrington, Wyo.) was to win the average because I wasn’t in the top four in the Texas Circuit year-end standings. That’s a great place to rope. I’ve roped there so many times and it feels really good to finally win the average.”
Fisher won Texas Circuit year-end titles between 2010-12. His latest achievement adds to his family’s storied history at the RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo. His father, Dan, won the average at the Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo in 1984 and ’86 as a team roping heeler and was the year-end champ in team roping in 1981.
Younger brother, J. Tom, won the RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo steer roping average and year-end championships in 2017. Dan, Vin and J. Tom also qualified for the NFSR together in 2010 and 2013.
“I had my whole family here (in Waco) – my wife, Candace, sons, Jett, 12, and Mack, 7, and daughter, Danlee, 9,” Vin said. “I had the whole crew and I think they were my good-luck charm.”
The steer roping at the RAM Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo took place Jan. 4, and Vin didn’t waste any time getting on a roll, winning the first round with a 10.8-second run.
“My mind-set was strictly on winning the average,” Vin said. “My first steer came out and took a step to the left, and it was one of those shots where you have to try them on. After I won the first round, I just made sure I roped and tied the next two down.”
He did, placing in a tie for third in round two with a 10.6-second run. Then he was fourth in round three, stopping the clock in 13 seconds.
“The roping was so tough you couldn’t back off any,” Vin said. “In the second round, guys were posting good times and I thought I better tie one fast, so I could keep the lead in the average. In the last round I got to rope last, which was a huge advantage because the last round wasn’t near as fast. I knew exactly what I had to rope to win the average.”
Shay Good finished second in the average with a 35.5-second time on three head.
“I used a horse named Bucky, 15, that I own,” Vin said. “I rode him at the NFSR the last two years, and he’s been a really good horse and he did his job.”
Vin departed Waco after earning $4,743, which is the jolt he was looking for in the young 2019 season. Fisher finished eighth in the 2018 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $77,698. He’s been a perennial world championship contender, finishing a career-best second in the standings in 2015.
“This is by far and away the best start I’ve ever had in my career,” he said. “I’ve never got off to a good start like I wanted to, and this year I think after (Jan. 4) I have just under $19,000 won. I’ve never had a start like this in my life. Winning a world championship is the only goal I’ve had in rodeo since I first started. I feel like I have put everything into it. I work hard at it and go to all the rodeos and always keep three good horses. I’ve put everything into it and it (the world championship) hasn’t happened for me yet, and that’s all I’m going after. I’m going to try my hardest to win the world, and if I don’t, there are no excuses and no regrets.”
Vin Fisher Jr. is second in the Jan. 7 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $18,624.
Other winners at the $199,888 rodeo were all-around cowboy Trevor Brazile ($1,776, tie-down roping and steer roping); bareback rider Tilden Hooper (258 points on three head); steer wrestler Don Payne (12.3 seconds on three head); team ropers Clay Smith/Jake Long (15.1 seconds on three head); saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz (258 points on three head); tie-down roper Ty Harris (27.9 seconds on three head); barrel racer Kelly Bruner, (47.65 seconds on three runs); bull rider Cole Melancon (178 points on two head).
Tie-down roper Tanner Green broke the Extraco Coliseum arena record when he won the third round with a 6.8-second time. The arena record was 7.1 seconds shared by Shane Hanchey (2015) and Marcos Costa (2017).