Dustin Egusquiza knows that the secret to a big finish in 2022 comes down to one thing: Keeping it simple.
The four-time NFR qualifier is once again making a run for the NFR and a world championship, sitting at No. 5 in the heading standings. He and his partner, heeler Travis Graves, won the second round at July’s NFR Open in Colorado Springs, one of the highest-paying events in pro rodeo. The win provided a big boost to the pair, who aim to qualify for the NFR in December.
Dustin says that for him, it’s best not to overthink the mechanics of what he does.
“I think if you find success with something, stick to it,” he says. “Just keep it simple.”
2021 was a good one for Dustin, who either won or shared the win in 13 rodeos. He made his fourth trip to the NFR in December. The Florida cowboy rode into Las Vegas ranked No. 1 in the world. After the 10th round, he found himself in third in the world standings.
Growing up on the East Coast in Florida - three hours later than Las Vegas - Dustin Egusquiza would stay up all night to catch National Finals Rodeo competition on television. The event was a magical time every December.
Dustin has been preparing for rodeo’s center stage most of his life. His father Manny Sr. was his teacher, and he competed in junior rodeos before and during high school both in team roping and tie-down roping, He qualified for the NHSFR three years and won the state title in team roping in Alabama his senior year.
“I don’t really have any earliest memories of roping because I’ve been roping as far back as I can remember,” he says. “My parents took me to all of those and that’s where I learned to compete.”
Thanks to his parents, Dustin says that despite all the attention pro athletes get, he keeps his feet solidly on the ground.
“Growing up, I was taught that being humble is important,” he says. “My parents taught me to respect everyone.”