He did it. Wesley Thorp has now gone where no team roper has ever gone before. He will rope for the million at RFD-TV’s The American at AT&T Stadium tomorrow...not once, but twice...and as both a header and a heeler.
Wesley and eight-time World Champion Team Roper Speed Williams won today’s American Semifinals in Fort Worth with a 4.32-second run. Wesley also made the American cut heading for fellow Texan Seth Smithson, with whom he won both the preliminary two-steer average and Thursday and Friday night’s Top 20 round.
While Wesley had to take the money and run today, to rope in tonight’s San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo’s short round with Cody Snow, Speed stayed behind to talk about the team and his young-gun heeler.
Who better than Speed to speak on just how cool Wesley’s team roping twofer really is? Speed’s one of the rare few who’ve roped at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as both a header and a heeler.
“So many guys try both ends, but they don’t all realize the level of difficulty at the highest level until they try it themselves,” Speed said. “For Wesley to do what no one else has ever been able to do speaks for itself, as does him being two of the top five teams out of 135 teams here at the semifinals.
“It’s hard to make it to The American on one side, much less two. And my man throws fast.”
Fact is, his 22-year-old man crossfired last night and again this afternoon...because it’s legal here, and because he can.
On a fun and personal side note, my son Lane got the call during the rodeo today that he’ll be back to do battle at next weekend’s Cinch Timed Event Championship at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Wesley’s been riding Lane’s paint head horse, Scout...the one Lane, Ryle Smith and Jordan Ketscher all rode at the Timed Event last year...here in Fort Worth this week.
I got a kick out of the text I got from Wesley’s mom, Kathy, right after the team roping here today. It read: “How does a quarter million in mount money sound?”
Good times. Lucky us.