Winter run hot and cold for Dean Gorsuch |

Winter run hot and cold for Dean Gorsuch

Photo courtesy of Fred McClanahan.Dean Gorsuch competing at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Rodeo is known as a “what have you done for me lately” kind of sport. For professional steer wrestler Dean Gorsuch, things lately have been both hot and cold.

“I’m having a decent winter” said Gorsuch during some recent down time at friend and fellow steer wrestler Todd Suhn’s Texas home near Weatherford. “So far this year it seems like I’ll have a good run, then something happens. I’ll slip a horn, break a barrier, or draw a hard running steer. Something.”

In many respects, 2010 has started like 2009 ended for Gorsuch. During the 10 rounds of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) last December, he placed third or better in three rounds, then eighth or higher in the other seven. At the first rodeo he entered following the 2009 Finals, the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver, Colo., a broken barrier in round two prevented him from advancing. In Fort Worth he drew two hard running steers and in Rapid City, his first run ended with a no time.

Things began to turn around in San Antonio, where Gorsuch earned wins in both round three and four of the rodeo’s Bracket No. 3 and secured a spot in the semifinals. A third-place finish in the semis qualified him for the finals and provided some momentum heading into the next rodeo in San Angelo. In San Angelo he split second in round two and qualified again for a short-go. While he didn’t win a check in the finals of either Texas rodeo, Gorsuch remains positive. “That’s just the way it goes,” he said.

Since San Angelo, things have cooled off again. As Dean puts it, “In Tucson I would have finished second, but broke the barrier in the first round. I won round two in Scottsdale and took fifth overall, but could have won it. My first steer ran hard to the right and it cost me a half a second or so.”

From Arizona, Gorsuch headed back to Texas and Rodeo Houston, one of his favorites. “I can’t say enough about Houston,” said Gorsuch. “I’ve won it once (2006), took third last year and was second in ’05. They always run a good pen of steers there and this year was no different. I missed my first one, then took third in round two and came back to win third again in round number three. I would have really liked to have had that first steer later on. I could have done more with him if I’d had the chance to watch him go one time.”

Gorsuch chalks the ups and downs to his chosen way of life and tries to take them all in stride. Support from wife Bekah and sons Taydon and Trell helps, as does a certain amount of faith. In Dean’s words, “In this sport it’s easy to get down. Faith helps. My faith goes far beyond rodeo, but it sure helps in this sport.”

In the timed events, good horses finish a close second to faith and Gorsuch has these too. He has ridden the legendary “Willy,” owned by Greg Cassidy, at all the big winter rodeos and has been pleased with him. He’s also started to use another horse he hopes will work for the future. Dean and family friend Darrell Kraupie of Bridgeport, Neb., recently acquired “Pump Jack,” a 14-year-old that Gorsuch describes as “outstanding.”

“He’s done well this year and so far I’m really proud of him,” said Gorsuch.

A supportive family, solid faith, positive attitude and good horses have kept Dean Gorsuch in the hunt for a world title since 2005, when he left his day job as a pipeline welder. Another thing always in his favor is the will to give his all, year after year. When he’s hot, Gorsuch is one of the best steer wrestlers in the world, and when things cool off … he’s still one of the best. As the temperature outside begins to heat up, watch for Dean Gorsuch to do the same.


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