By Jack Nowlin
Las Vegas has been good to Cash Robb. The 18-year-old steer wrestler from Altamont, Utah, has already won two titles at the Junior World Finals appears to be on his way to a third.
Inside the Wrangler Rodeo Arena on Wednesday morning, Robb won the second round of Ote Berry’s Junior Steer Wrestling open division with a 3.4-second run. Robb won the first round on Tuesday with a 3.9-second run. Needless to say, Robb leads the average with a two-run time of 7.3 seconds.
“I’ve just been trying to nail the start and go make good decent runs,” Robb said. “I want to stay in the average all week.
“I’ve won the 16-and-under twice so I’m just trying to get the overall win, get a couple more saddles, some money and the trailer and head home. Vegas has treated me very well. When it was in Fort Worth last year I didn’t do too well, so I just wanted to come back this year and show off.”
Robb has done just that. He has the two fastest times of the week – Samuel Shofner of Jasper, Texas, also had a 3.9 on Wednesday – and has nearly a 1 second lead on Clay Thomas Hurt of Dilley, Texas, in the average.
Vegas isn’t the only venue that has been good to Robb. He was a three-time high school state champion in Utah and won the 2020 National High School Finals Rodeo bulldogging title in Oklahoma.
The freshman at Texas A&M-Commerce is looking to add two more to the list: the Ford Wyoming Center in Casper, Wyoming, where the College National Finals Rodeo is held each June; and the Thomas & Mack Center in Vegas, which is home to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
“College is going well,” said Robb, who is currently in the top 10 of the steer wrestling standings in the Southern Region. “I just need to keep making good runs and try to make the college finals in the summer.
“Of course, Thomas & Mack is the ultimate goal. I can’t wait to be there. We’re just going to keep getting better and hopefully be there in a couple years.”
All signs point toward Robb doing just that. And when he does he expects to have some familiar faces in the box with him. He has been riding Dacky, a 14-year-old gray, the past four years. And when he looks over his right shoulder, the man hazing for him is his dad, Justin, a former bulldogger.
“My dad has dedicated his life to helping make me the best bulldogger I could be,” Robb said. “I couldn’t do it without him. I started chute dogging when I was little and he’s just always pushed me to be a better me.
“The first year I was here he couldn’t haze for me because he had just had shoulder surgery, but every other year he’s been there,” Robb added. “He hazed for me in high school. I couldn’t have a better man on the other side. It’s nice to not have to worry about it. He’s always been there for me and I never have to worry if he’s going to do something wrong. He’s awesome.”
Robb has similar sentiments about Dacky.
“I’ve had him since my sophomore year of high school,” Robb said. “He was a head horse before we made him into a bulldogging horse. I feel like I can get a good start on him every time and he scores great. He’s sweet.”
Cash, Justin and Dacky have proved to be a winning combination at the Junior World Finals in the past and they’re off to another great start at this year’s event.
After Vegas, Cash and Dacky will head back to Commerce, Texas, to make a run at the College Finals. Robb, who bought his permit shortly after turning 18 last summer, expects to return to Utah after his college season to continue competing in the Wilderness Circuit before he eventually moves up to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit.
Last month, Robb won the first round of the circuit finals rodeo and finished eighth in the final standings. Even though the money to be won on the PRCA circuit, and especially at the season-ending NFR, is tempting, Robb is willing to wait before making the full-time move.
“I’ve just got to be patient,” he said. “I’ve got to let myself mature a little bit more and finish my schooling, that’s the most important thing. After that we’ll try to get to the big show and do some good there.”