The rocket that is Dylan Hancock’s budding rodeo career may have used the CINCH World Championship Junior Rodeo (WCJR) presented by Montana Silversmiths held July 23-29, 2022 in Guthrie, Oklahoma as the launching pad.
Competing in steer wrestling, team roping as both a header and a heeler, and in his signature event, the tie down roping, Hancock rolled to the All Around Championship at the second annual event held at world famous Lazy E Arena. Thanks to top ten finishes in all four disciplines, he earned an enormous $16,750.
“I didn’t get to go in 2021, but I sure wanted to,” Hancock, 18, noted of the forward-looking event’s inaugural year. “I was excited to get to go this time. It was a long week . . . busy.”
“It was awesome and I had a lot of fun.”
Hancock caught the rodeo bug from his family. His father Shane was a tie down roper as well, and younger sister Macy is a barrel racer and breakaway roper.
“I’ve done it all my life,” Hancock said. “I played baseball for awhile but rodeo is kind of all I ever wanted to do.”
Hancock was born in West, Texas but his family moved to San Angelo at age eleven, landing him in the heart of tie down roping country. While he says that tie down is his favorite event, he enjoys the challenge of competing in multiple events at one rodeo.
“It can be a lot at times,” Hancock laughed. “But I like it.”
“I just love the adrenaline of going back and forth between events.”
Already a decorated cowboy having earned All Around honors at the International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR) in 2021, Hancock was plenty busy during the 2022 WCJR. The format consists of two long rounds, progressive semi-finals for the top 16 with the top eight advancing again to the finals. The last two rounds are sudden death.
In the team roping, he switched ends with partner Cinch Moody and they landed sixth with Hancock heeling and seventh with him heading in the finals.
“I don’t really head very much and that was the first time I had in a long time there in Guthrie,” Hancock admitted.
In the steer wrestling, Hancock was solid all week, placing in both rounds and the average; he was second in the finals.
Riding his good horse, Foxy, in the tie down roping, he rebounded from a tough first go to place in the second go and in the semi-finals before finishing out second in the finals there as well.
“I hadn’t had her too long [at Guthrie],” Hancock said of Foxy, 15. “She is super easy and solid. She let’s me do my deal.”
While he rode his own heel horse, Major, he borrowed horses in the steer wrestling and heading.
“Cade Walker was nice enough to let me on his horse in the steer wrestling,” he said. “In the heading, I rode Conley Kleinhans’ horse in the heading at the first of the week and then got on Denton Parish’s horse.”
“I’m very thankful for all of them for letting me ride their horses,” he continued. “You’ve always got your circle back there, your buddies, and that’s great.”
Hancock is now attending Cisco College, competing on their rodeo team; he’s looking to earn a Business degree. He also joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association in early 2022, picking up a qualification to the Ram Texas Circuit Finals in October while still on his permit. He was consistent through four rounds and earned fourth in the average in a field stacked with Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) ropers and World Champions.
“I struggled for a long time there,” Hancock admitted of his early competitions in the ranks of ProRodeo. “I’m still not where I want to be but I’m a lot better than where I started!”
“My family and friends helped me get through it,” he said. “A lot of people have helped me through the years.”
Like many young rodeo athletes, he dreams of making his living with his rope.
“I think every little kid’s goal is to go to the NFR,” he said. “I’d like to win the world someday.”
While Hancock juggles college and ProRodeo—where he’ll be in the chase for a rookie title in 2023—he still has a couple of youth events on the docket before he’s done.
Thanks to winning the Jr. Ironman side pot offered alongside the competition in Guthrie at the WCJR, he’s earned a position in the prestigious Jr. Ironman presented by WCRA, held annually with the CINCH Timed Event Championships on March 2-4, 2023.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for that one,” he said of the event where ten cowboys compete in heading, heeling, tie down and steer wrestling across three rounds for a $20,000 first place payoff.
Hancock can also return to defend his All Around title when the WCJR returns to the Lazy E on July 25-29, 2023. The third annual event will partner with the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) through their Division Youth (DY), crowning world titles in all disciplines in both the Junior (19 & Under) and Youth (13-15) classifications. The event will also feature $200,000 in added prize money.
“It’s awesome to have the opportunity to compete for the prizes and the money offered there,” Hancock said.
About the CINCH World Championship Junior Rodeo presented by Montana Silversmiths
A collaboration between the Lazy E Arena and the WCRA, the WCJR is a unique youth rodeo event designed to offer rodeo athletes aged 19 and under a true world championship event. Competitors in 11 disciplines—bareback riding, ladies’ breakaway roping, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, team roping heading & heeling, tie down roping, barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and bull riding—will compete July 25-29, 2023 for world titles and a share of the $200,000 added prize money. For more information, visit wcjrodeo.com.