For former world champion team roper Clay Tryan, the Windy Ryon Memorial Roping is one tough show to win.
It’s conducted in a sprawling arena. Ropers are required to give their steer a longer head start. There are days that competitors rope in windy and hot weather.
But not any of that fazed Tryan and his partner, Jake Long, when the open division title was at stake during the final round at the 2019 edition Friday. The duo entered the final with the lead in the aggregate race and held onto it after turning in a solid time of 7.45 seconds.
Tryan, who is from Lipan, and Long, a Morgan Mill resident who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas eight times, clinched the open team roping title with a five-run aggregate time of 35.66 seconds as the 46th annual Ryon Roping began its three-day run in Fort Worth.
Tryan, who won Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association team roping heading world titles three times (2005, 2013-14), said he knows he will be tested at the Ryon Roping.
“I think it’s going to be a long day when I come here every time, and hopefully it is because that means you’ve made it to the end,” he said. “But you’ve got to earn it.”
Billy Bob Brown, a former Tarleton State star from Carbon, and his partner, Evan Arnold, of Stephenville, finished second with a 37.04.
Tryan and Long each earned $8,750 for clinching the title. Brown and Arnold each pocketed $6,250.
Brown and Arnold each earned $5,350 for finishing second in the aggregate (average) title race. The also each pocketed an additional $900 for finishing second in the 20-team finals round (short go) with a 7.11.
Former National Finals qualifiers Cody Snow, of Stephenville, and Ryan Motes, of Weatherford, finished first in the short go with a 6.24 ($1,350). The round winning time helped the duo jump from 15th place to sixth in the average race ($1.450).
Motes grabbed attention March 3 when he and his partner, Colman Procter, each earned $433,333 after clinching the team roping title at RFD-TVs The American at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
At the Ryon Roping, Lane Ivy, of Dublin, and Dillon Wingereid, of Stephenville, finished third in the open team roping title race behind Tryan/Long (35.66) and Brown/Arnold (37.04). Ivy and Wingereid turned in a 37.19 on five runs.
Kaleb Driggers and Buddy Hawkins, who both are from Stephenville, finished fourth with a 39.37. Driggers also partnered with Jade Corkill, another Stephenville cowboy, and the duo finished fifth with a 39.21.
In the women’s team roping, Hope Thompson, of Abilene, and Rylie Smith, of Whitsett, clinched the title with a four-run aggregate time of 36.01 after turning in an 8.5 in the final round. They each earned $3,750.
Abby Medlin, of Stephenville, and TiAda Gray, of Portales, N.M., finished second with a 40.09 ($2,400 each). Stephenville cowgirl Lydia Townson and her partner, Kelly Dawn Jones, of Sonora, finished third with a 42.40 ($1,900 each).
Clay Logan, of Granbury, and Rodie Wilson, of Canyon, clinched the Invitational Knot Tying (a form of team roping) title. They each pocketed $3,000.
The Ryon Roping will feature break-away roping and tie-down roping during Saturday’s performance. In the 40-man Invitational Roping, 24-time PRCA world champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur is entered. Tuf Cooper, the 2017 world all-around champion, also is on the card.
Two-time world tie-down roping champion Caleb Smidt and six-time National Finals qualifier Timber Moore will compete against each other in the featured match roping.