Mickey Gee took the steer wrestling world by storm in 1999, surprising everyone by winning the world title in dramatic fashion.
His go-for-broke 3.6-second run in Round 10 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo propelled the then 24-year-old unknown from 11th place to first. He won the round, $133,527 for the year and established a new NFR aggregate record by turfing 10 steers in 42 seconds.
As the Wichita Falls, Texas, cowboy celebrated his new world title by throwing his hat in the arena, little did he know that his 15 minutes of fame had officially began.
Gee took most of 2000 off, enjoying a new wife and his gold buckle. 2001 was better, but he fell short of qualifying for his second NFR, placing 24. A hip injury in the spring of 2002 kept him on the shelf for the entire summer. He won just $11,642.
This season, Gee has rediscovered the magic that made him one of the sport's bright young stars. He's No. 8 in the world standings with $53,743. Gee has put himself in line for 15 more minutes in the spotlight.
"I bought me a new horse from Greg and Chad Muir in June and things got to clicking," Gee, 28, said. "After laying off hurt, I got to craving it more, wanting it more. I decided to go try it again. So far it's worked pretty good.
"I won $12,000 over the Fourth of July and then I won $23,000 at Cheyenne [Wyo.] Frontier Days. That's where I believe I made the [Wrangler] Finals.
Gee had sold his horse in January and didn't have a quality mount to challenge the world's best bulldoggers. Chad Muir had moved from Idaho to Texas and lived with Gee for more than a year. Muir's 14-year-old horse, Wasp, had been turned out to pasture. The cowboys initially didn't think Wasp had a future in ProRodeo.
But upon returning home from an unsuccessful spring rodeo swing, Gee told Muir to get Wasp ready for a tryout.
The rest, they say, is history.
Gee and Wasp have been one of the best tandems in the world of ProRodeo. Their travel plans are all ready being made to the Wrangler NFR, slated Dec. 5-14. Unlike the first time Gee qualified, he'll have his father, Dennis, working the hazing side for him.
Dennis Gee taught his son how to bulldog and the two have always wanted to run steers together on ProRodeo's biggest stage, the NFR.
"It's going to be real special," Gee said.
In the meantime, Gee has two rodeos left to complete his regular season, both small rodeos around his house. "I'm just going to practice and hog hunt," said Gee, who with wife, are planning for their first child in May.
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