Oklahoma's Brandon Abney and Scott Keller took home the number-one spot in the #9 at the USTRC's Chisholm Trail Classic in Enid, Okla. Their team took home a total of $6,950 plus 6,000 in flex earnings after turning in an accumulative time of 41.32 seconds on four head.
"You can't miss behind Brandon Abney," Keller explained. "If you do, you know it's your fault. He handles cattle too darn good."
Abney rode his 14-year-old buckskin gelding, Uncle Buck, while Keller cleaned up on the heel side aboard his 7-year-old gelding Popcorn.
Keller, a #4 both ends, trades grain for a living. He married into a roping family who taught him how to rope just seven years ago. Along with his wife Lindsay and 2-year-old son Trigg, Keller gives credit to his partner and header, Brandon Abney.
"My wife's family basically taught me how to ride," said Keller. "I started riding eight years ago and doing everything with it so they've had an instrumental role in my success. My buddy, Brandon Abney, he taught me a lot along the way, too. I just switched to the heel side about a year and a half ago and it's been going pretty good ever since then."
Abney, who is #5 on the head side and #4 on the heel side, works as a conductor at BNSF Railway, Inc. He grew up rodeoing with Keller's wife and, like most rodeo families, had a dad who put a rope in his hand ever since he could walk. From his dad teaching him the ropes growing up, Abney finds himself lending help to others.
"I mean, seven years ago I didn’t know who Scott Keller was," Abney explained. "He married one of the girls that I grew up rodeoing with. Her dad, Todd Domer, took Scott under his wing and definitely helped him rope more. I find it interesting to be able to help someone else that wants to improve their own roping. With Scott being a buddy, it definitely makes it worth watching him improve even if it's not roping with me. It's good to see him progress over the years especially from going to heading to heeling. He's been heeling very well lately–I'm pretty proud of him."
"The thing that’s good about Brandon is he ropes really well and he always gives guys that haven't been roping a long time, like myself, a shot to rope with him," Keller added.