Manny Egusquiza had a week. A good week, that is.
He and partner Evan Arnold took Waco by storm with a big win last week at the 2023 Texas Circuit Finals. The two came away with $10,230 as the average champs and an invite to the 2024 NFR Open. Manny also clinched the Texas Circuit year-end title.
“This is a nice accomplishment,” Egusquiza said. “The Texas circuit is tough, and to come and win it feels good. There were so many guys there that rope good. We’ll see if we can keep this going.”
Egusquiza adds the Texas Circuit title to his six other circuit year-end titles. After going pro 27 years ago, he earned the Great Lakes Circuit champion heeling title in 2000. He then won the Southeastern Circuit title in 2005, 2006 and then again in 2008, when he also grabbed the Southeastern Circuit year-end all-around title as a heeler.
Each title over the years has been special in its own way, he says. And the Texas title is no different.
“They’re all special because of the past partnership and friendship I made with the guys I have won them with,” he says. “This one is really cool. I have had a chance in the last four years to win the Texas circuit or the average and have come up short and this time I got it done.”
The NFR Open is set for July 10, 2024 in Colorado Springs. To qualify, competitors have to win the season title or win the average title at one of the 12 regional circuit finals rodeos.
“I think this is my 8th or 9th time to go to the NFR Open, “Egusquiza says. “And it’s alway nice to rope for that kind of of money.”
Egusquiza and Arnold only started roping together regularly in September after roping together at a couple of jackpots. It was Arnold’s experience that made him the perfect partner for the Texas Circuit finals. Egusquiza says it’s all part of the recipe for success at this level.
“Having a great partner that you get along with, someone you can make a run with, day in and day out, is important,” the 47-year-old header says. “You’ve got to great have great horses - and a couple of good ones coming up. Obviously, everything has to fall into place.”