By BEN CLEMENTS
Special to The Flash
The Brazos Valley Classic produced by the USTRC has become a favorite event for many team ropers. The roping took place at the Brazos County Expo Center in Bryan, Texas and was held February 10-12, 2017. Team ropers enjoyed the first class facility and the great weather.
The first roping of the event was the Open Division.
Walt Woodard of Stephenville, Texas was the dominating force of the roping. He and header Logan Olson also of Stephenville, came from the third call back position to claim first place in the average. The pair was 32.83 seconds on five steers for the victory. They earned $9,034 and trophy suede leather saddle pads.
The event was also a qualifier for RFD-TV’s the American and Olson and Woodard finished first place in that as well. That feat added $8,900 to their pockets. Second place in the average of the Open Division also went to Woodard and header David Key. The pair was 33.75 seconds and took home $5520 in cash. Third place went to Luke Brown and Jake Long, both from Morgan Mill, Texas. Fourth place was Shane Philipp from Washington, Texas and Joseph Harrison from Overbrook, Oklahoma.
As stated the event was also a qualifier for The American and Manny Eguszuiza finished second in that with heeler Daniel Braman and also third with heeler Cody Hintz. Seven other teams also qualified to the Semi-Finals of the American.
The Semi-Finals Slack rounds of the American were next on the agenda. Ninety five teams from all over the United States converged on the Brazos Valley Expo to continue their quest for competition at AT&T Stadium on February 19, 2017.
Cody Snow from Los Olivos, California and Billie Jack Stevens from Nowata, Oklahoma won the first round with a time of 4.77 seconds. The win secured them over $9063 in cash. Second was Lane Ivy from Amarillo, Texas and Buddy Hawkins from Columbus, Kansas. Third was the team of Shane Philipp and Wesley Thorp, while fourth went to Zac Small and Tyler Worley. The second round win went to Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp with a time of 4.43 seconds. They secured the big money and pocketed over $9,063 in cash. Second place was World Champion Calf Roper Caleb Smidt and heeler BJ Dugger with a time of 4.44 seconds. Third place was Trey Blackmore and Brock Hanson both from Arizona. Fourth went to Charly Crawford from Stephenville, Texas and Will Woodfin from Marshall, Texas.
The top 20 teams after two steers advanced on to compete at the Stockyards Coliseum in Ft. Worth, Texas to see who would then go on to AT&T Stadium and possibly win $1 Million in prize money. When the dust settled, Charly Crawford and Will Woodfin were in first place and won $10,195. Second was Zac Small and Tyler Worley, while third was the team of Lane Ivy and Buddy Hawkins. Fourth was Dylan Gordaon and Gave Williams and rounding out the top five was Travis Whitlow and Tanner Luttrell.
The next roping of the day was the #15 Division. Chase Chambers and Levi Lord both from Stephenville, Texas teamed up to win first place in the average. They were 34.67 seconds on four steers and won $5466, trophy suede leather saddle pads and $6000 in USTRC Flex Earnings. Second place was Ky Bray from Stephenville, Texas and Jace Davis from Capitan, New Mexico. Third was the team of Thomas Braman and Cody Hintz.
The final roping of the first day of the Brazos Valley Classic was the #13 Division. Billy Reagan from Hockley, Texas and Brandon Phillips from College Station, Texas were the victors. They were 31.27 seconds on four steers and left out with $2,794, trophy suede leather saddle pads, and $6,000 in USTRC Flex Earnings. Second place went to Marty Linder from Giddings, Texas and Kayden Little from Tatum, New Mexico. Third was Max Ramsey from Stephenville, Texas and Kaine Warnken from Schulenburg, Texas.