Back in September, team roping header Bubba Buckaloo and team roping heeler Chase Tryan met up at the Justin Finale at the PRCA | Wrangler ProRodeo Tour in Puyallup, Wash.
With Buckaloo and Tryan in good position at the time to qualify for the Wrangler NFR but their respective partners not, both ropers talked about what might happen if they qualified but their partners didn’t.
They decided they’d rope together.
On Thursday, that newly formed partnership looked like old teammates, as Buckaloo and Tryan clocked a 3.6-second run to win Round 8 with the fastest time of the 2018 Finals.
The win was the first of their career at the Finals for both ropers.
“It means everything,” said Tryan, who is fourth in the heeling world standings with $154,367. “We’ve been working at this forever. It’s feels so good.”
Tryan roped with header Brenton Hall this season, while Buckaloo headed for Tyler Worley.
Buckaloo is enjoying his first trip to Vegas for the Finals, especially after Thursday night.
“It started out really good, and then I went on a cold streak for the third, fourth and fifth rounds,” said Buckaloo, who is third in the team roping heading standings with $174,951. “Then we got money in Round 6 and I got my confidence back. I just felt like tonight we had the best steer and we made a good run.”
The duo have jelled pretty quickly, considering Round 8 was their eighth performance together.
“We’d practiced together and both of us have the same type of goals, the same game plan every night,” Tryan said.
Their confidence is up, and part of that came from some advice via Buckaloo’s dad.
“After I missed the first one, it got to me a little more, and then I missed the third one,” Buckaloo said. “I called my dad and he said, ‘You know what, you shouldn’t worry about it. You’re there for a reason. You’re one of the best.’ That was the biggest motivation for me.’”
Team roping header Clay Smith and partner heeler Paul Eaves continue to lead the world standings for their respective events. They split second on the evening, which helped them extend their lead. Each of them has $212,921 on the year.