Arizona’s Joel Wengert has never missed a World Series of Team Roping Finale. He’s a legacy member, but he’s never had much luck at the Finale. Until 2017.
Wengert, a horseshoer and owner of Wengert Land and Cattle, heeled four steers in 31.80 seconds behind fellow Arizonan and truck driver Brady Alexander to win the #11 Boehringer Ingelheim Finale from third callback with a short-round run of 7.79 to take home $309,000.
“I knew we did our part and caught him and we were going to win a lot of money, so I really could care less,” Wengert said. “It was exciting. How could you say you weren’t nervous? I rodeoed for a long time and rode bucking horses, so if I make the short round normally I’m pretty good. You hope it’s your day, you draw good steers and you use ’em. I’d not rope all year to come here and spend all my money.”
This was the first Finale for Alexander, who is just 22 and runs Alexander the Freight trucking company with his father. Alexander won the #10 Title Fights with Logan Rogers at Dynamite Arena in Cave Creek, Arizona, last February, and he entered the Finale with Wengert after that. He rode his 17-year-old gelding, McLovin, to the win.
“I didn’t handle him very good,” Alexander said. “I think my horse is a little wore out. We’ve been jackpotting all week in Wickenburg leading up here. So next year I’ll take two horses. He never does anything wrong so it makes it easy for me. If we don’t end up winning money it’s my fault. Travis Ericsson had him, and he was letting an older guy ride him. He was sitting around and the guy wasn’t using him, so he wanted to get rid of him.”
Wengert rode his 6-year-old mare, aptly named Bay Mare, out of his wife’s good broodmare and by George and Jolene Alexander’s stud, who he’s ridden in Las Vegas since she was 4.
“I let my buddy ride my horse, so she’s been getting used to the Open, the 15, the 13, and I used her in the 12 and I’ll use her in the 10 tomorrow. She’s dirty rank. She’s tough. She’s been in every roping from the 15 to the 10 here for the last three years,” Wengert said.
Alexander looks to use his share of the $309,000 to buy a new big truck for his company, while Wengert is ready to close on some new land he already had in the works.
“I’ve got half of my customers out there reminding me I’ve still got to go to work on Monday,” Wengert, who shod 100 horses the week before the Finale, laughed. “I’ll keep working because I love my job.”