The 18th Annual Sandhills Invitational Roping in January—as part of the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo’s Super Tuesday in Odessa, Texas—is the first big open roping of the year and featured a $64,000 payout and 130 teams.
New rodeo teammates Jake Stanley of Hermiston, Ore., and Justin Davis of Cottonwood, Calif., won the five-steer average with a time of 28.85 seconds. They each won $7,472.
"It was cool to win," Stanley said. "For the first of January—and I didn’t make the Finals last year—so I was dang sure broke when I pulled in there. It sure made Christmas look a lot better and the outlook for January. It seems like at those jackpots you always win with your second partner, so it’s nice to win with your main partner for the confidence of it. He’s roped great everywhere we’ve been. It was a really well-run roping and they make a good production of it."
The Super Tuesday line-up also featured an eight-head match team roping between Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith and Chad Masters and Jade Corkill. Masters and Corkill upset the defending champions after roping their steers in 60.15 seconds to Brazile and Smith’s 62.20.
The Shawn McMullen Memorial Match Calf Roping is also part of the festivities. McMullen and Stran Smith were aspiring calf ropers traveling together in Oregon when a drunk driver, driving with no headlights, struck McMullen’s truck head on, killing him. Smith obviously survived and annually participates in—and often wins—the memorial roping for his friend.
Once again, he edged Jeff Chapman and won the match, tying four calves in 45.39 seconds. Interestingly, the junior calf match, which also featured four runs, was faster than the pro version. Defending Texas State High School Tie-Down Roping Champion Billy Bob Brown of Carbon, Texas, tied his calves in 43.92 seconds.
Rounding out the Super Tuesday activities was a Pro-Am. Professional heeler Travis Graves and Rusty Stuart of Roland, Okla., won by roping three steers in 21.16 seconds.