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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rodeo: Like father, like son

Rodeo: Like father, like son

Choosing a vocation can be a difficult decision. For some, it's a lifetime's work in itself. But don't include 21-year-old Oral rodeo cowboy Paul David Tierney among that company.
"I really have not ever wanted to do anything other than rodeo, so it's nice now to have the chance to be able to do it," Tierney said. "It's just something that I grew up with, and with Dad, I had a good mentor to get me started, so I knew what I was doing. I just like being around rodeo and never thought of doing anything else."
It's not surprising, considering that Paul David's rodeo idol happens to be his father, former world champion tie-down roper and all-around champion Paul Tierney. And though some might be intimidated by following in big footsteps, Tierney chooses to use his father's Hall of Fame accomplishments as an inspiration to spur himself to his own success.
"I'm proud of what he accomplished," said Tierney, a Hot Springs High School graduate who competed in both wrestling and football, of his father. "It drives me to want to do what he did instead of worrying about it. The fact that he was a world champion makes me want to be a world champion, too."
The second-year PRCA pro is off to a good start in 2011. He currently holds the third spot in the PRCA world all-around rankings behind eight-time champion Trevor Brazile and Cody Ohl. Like his father, Tierney competes in tie-down roping (currently 20th) and team roping (15th). Among the wins instrumental in his early-season success was the all-around title at the Black Hills Stock Show Rodeo.
"Yeah, that was a good win there," Tierney said. "I won a lot more in the calf roping than I did in the team roping, but I kind of needed that since I was behind in the calf roping. So it worked out OK. And winning close to home is always nice."
In team roping, Paul David (the heeler) teams with older brother and traveling companion Jess Tierney (the header).
"It really helps to have him out here with me," Tierney said. "He kind of takes care of me since he's been out before, and he knows what he's doing a lot more than I do, so he helps me out a lot."
Although the Tierney boys have stayed a little closer to home in past years, they hope to experience a fuller circuit in 2011.
"We are going to go to a lot of different rodeos, particularly the bigger ones." Tierney said from San Antonio, where the brothers are competing this weekend in the George Strait Team Roping Classic, one of the most prestigious team roping events in the country. "We went to some last year but not a lot of them, so this year we are going to try and get to most of the bigger ones."
As for goals, Tierney prefers to think an event at a time and see what happens.
"Maybe not a world championship this year, but I would like to make the NFR for sure," he said. "That would be our main goal, and if things start going well, maybe we'll be able to put that other one into effect."

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