FLASH STAFF REPORT
(July 18, 2016) — Luke Brown and Jake Long are the hottest roping team in the world.
Brown, header of Stephenville, and Long, heeler of Morgan Mill won more than $14,000 in Wyoming and South Dakota last week, jumping to the top of the PRCA world standings.
Brown topped $70,000 for the season and Long is approaching that same plateau after winning the first round and the average at Sheridan WYO Rodeo and taking second in both rounds and the average at Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo in Casper. They threw in a third place finish at Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo in Mitchell, South Dakota for good measure.
Their success comes as no surprise. While he has never won a world title, Brown has been stalking both for a long time, winning the NFR average three times, including last year with world champion heeler Kolin VonAhn, who at the time resided in Huckabay. Brown came within $3,000 of being crowned world champion header to conclude his eighth NFR appearance.
Long has been to the NFR five times, was second in the average there last year to finish sixth in the world.
The tandem has also won the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede, the Rapid City (SD) Wrangler Champions Challenge and Fort Herriman (Utah) PRCA Rodeo while splitting the title at the Livingstone (Mont.) Roundup.
Brown and Long had been chasing a team that includes another Erath County roper. Header Clay Smith and Huckabay heeler Paul Eaves have led the world standings for much of the year and are now second right on the heels of Brown and Long. Kaleb Driggers and Jake Cooper, both of Stephenville, are seventh and 14th in the world, respectively.
Wesley Thorp of Stephenville is fifth in heeling after already capturing a College National Finals Rodeo championship this year. Shay Carroll of Hico is seventh and Travis Graves of Stephenville is ninth.
Here is a look at some of the success of local team ropers last week on the PRCA trail:
Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo
First round – 1. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.3, $3,163; 2. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.5, $2,751; 3. Clay Smith/Paul eaves, 4.9, $2,338
Finals – 1. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 6.0, $1,298; Luke Brown/Jake Long, 7.2, $1,074; 3. Clay Smith/Paul Eaves, 8.8, $850
Average – 1. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 10.3 on 2; Luke Brown/Jake Long, 11.7, $4,126; 3. Clay Smith/Paul eaves, 13.7, $3,507
Sheridan WYO Rodeo
First round – 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.5, $2,517; 4. Tyler Wade/Dakota Kirchenschlager, 4.9, $1,532; 5. (tie) Zac Small/Wesley Thorp, 5.0, $1,040; 7. (tie) Clay Smith/Paul Eaves and Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.2, $383
Second round – 1. Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 4.0, $2,517; 6. (tie) Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 4.8, $711
Average – 1. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 10.1 on 2, $3,776; 5. (tie) Clay Smith/Paul Eaves and David Key/Travis Woodard, 10.6, $1,560; 7. (tie) Jake Cooper/Tyler McKnight, 10.7, $575
Saddle bronc riding:
6. (tie) Sterling Crawley, 80.5, $689
Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo
Mitchell, South Dakota
3. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 5.3, $2,228; 4. (tie) Colby Lovell/Travis Graves, 5.5, $1,634