By Frank J. Buchman
Team roping heelers from Kansas put greenbacks in their pocketbooks at the recent National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Arlington, Texas.
Qualifiers for the 10-round Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association competition had to be in the Top 15 regular season standings.
Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, went into the NFR ranked third with $63,872, while Jake Long, Coffeyville, was fourth with $63,227.
Partnering as NFR header for Hawkins was Clay Tryan, Billings, Montana, seventh in regular season heading standings with $57,629.
Andrew Ward, Edmond, Oklahoma, was sixth in the heading standings with $63,872, when he began NFR heading for Long.
Neither Kansas team roping heeler had the NFR they’d hoped and planned for as both moved down in yearend placings.
The main problem was that neither of the Kansans and their partners connected on enough of their steers.
Hawkins and Tryan had three no-time runs while Long and Ward missed the qualification flag on five steers.
It’s not that the Sunflower State heelers didn’t have several good times, but their misses sharply altered average payback. Long was unable to collect an average check, while the Hawkins team got $11,424 for seventh with 41.4-seconds on seven flags.
Hawkins’ go-round times, placings and team money won: Second round, 4.9-seconds, fifth, $6,769; Third round, 4.3-seconds, second, $20,731; Fifth round, 4.1-seconds, fourth, $11,000; Eighth round, 4.6-seconds, second, $20,731; and Tenth round, 4.8-seconds, third, $15,654.
The team was ninth in the fourth go-round, and 11th in the sixth go-round, with no-times in the first, seventh and ninth go-rounds.
Long’s go-round times, placing and team money won: Fourth round, 4.8-seconds, split second, $15,795; Fifth round, 3.7-seconds, second, $20,731; Sixth round, 4-seconds flat, second, $20,731; and Ninth round, 4.1-seconds, third, $15,654. He had no-times in the other five rounds.
All completed, Hawkins was fifth in yearend team roping heeling placings with $160,180. Long ended the year eighth place heeler with $146,137.
Ward placed fifth yearend among headers with $160,289, while Tryan was ninth in the yearend header list collecting $140,539.
Largest regular season checks for Hawkins included National Western Stock Show Rodeo, Denver, Colorado, fourth, $7,170; La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros, Tucson, Arizona, second, $6,055; and Woodward, Oklahoma, Elks Rodeo, $5,510.
Major regular season checks for Long included National Western Stock Show Rodeo, $8,926; Dixie National Rodeo, Jackson, Mississippi, fourth, $4,083; and Cody, Wyoming, Stampede, fourth, $5,933.
Buddy Hawkins II, Columbus, placed fifth for the year in team roping heeling, while Jake Long, Coffeyville, was eighth after the National Finals Rodeo in Arlington, Texas . Hawkins shows his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association team roping heeling ability.