ProRodeo Sports News - June 26, 2020


Clay Guardipee photo Team roping heeler Cesar de la Cruz (pictured) teamed with header Lane Ivy to split the win at the 2019 Bigfork (Mont.) Summer Pro Rodeo.

Hail, Cesar!

Veteran heeler has spent last several years working on his horsemanship

BY TRACY RENCK B y all standards, team roping heeler Cesar de

in the last decade how much the game has changed, and if you are not changing with

the times you get left behind.” It was quite a journey for de la Cruz. From 2015-19, between switching partners and working on his horsemanship, his two best finishes in the world standings were 25th in 2016 and 26th in 2019. “I felt like I needed to start working harder at things. This game plays no secrets, the harder you work at it, the better you will get at it,” de la Cruz said. “If you think Trevor Brazile doesn’t work hard at his craft – and he has won (25) world titles – and still works harder than most young kids, then there’s something to it. I had to redevelop my work ethic and start over from scratch. I love this game. I love roping, and I love horses. I’m hard-headed and have a hard time quitting. I feel like if I can get back to the Finals a couple times it would make my heart feel a lot better.” De la Cruz is quietly making another run at the Wrangler NFR. He

la Cruz has had a successful ProRodeo career. De la Cruz made nine consecutive trips to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, his last one in 2014. But that year he finished 14th in the 2014 world standings and decided he needed a change. “This game has a funny way about humbling a person,” de la Cruz said. “I made the Finals and had great opportunities, and I feel like one of my downfalls was trying to sell some of the horses I was making a living on and then trying to replace them. I felt like my frustration was getting to where I wasn’t roping as good as I once did because my horsepower wasn’t as good as it used to be. “I was frustrated with myself, and a good buddy of mine, (three-time Wrangler NFR heeler) Dakota Kirchenschlager, and I broke it down one day. He told me I needed to work on my horsemanship and become a better horseman if I wanted to be one of the best guys in the world again. You see

ProRodeo Sports News 6/26/2020


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