Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins backed into the WCRA Days of ’47 boxes as the first team out during the second performance of the semi-final rounds, stopping the clock in 4.79 seconds to put pressure on the next seven teams.
“Super hard scoring tonight, but everything else about the run is easy for us,” Hawkins said. “Most of the reason we have success is we see almost everything exactly the same. It’s kind of a no-brainer, the more thinking we do, probably the slower we are, so we just kind of block everything out. Andrew probably has to think his way through the barrier or at least react really good. All it took tonight was a good score and an easy run.”
Along with $1,600 for the round win, Ward and Hawkins received a $500 appearance fee and an extra $750 for advancing to the Gold Medal Round where they’ll get their shot at $25,000.
“Well you know, we rope for a living, no questions there,” Hawkins said. “But we get over here, we’re guaranteed money when we show up. Catching tonight, you get paid on the night, but you also get a bonus for coming back to the next round. Then obviously there’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And so for us, these major hits along the way, they’re the ones that pay for our horses and our trucks and our trailers and our houses and, you know, the good stuff. So it’s really important. Everybody would take $0 just to get the chance to run that one for $25,000 on Monday. So it’s really good for us to be over here and to catch our steer.”
To get the win, Ward rode Biscuit (Cole E Man), his 12-year-old bay gelding.
“It was just chemistry with him tonight,” Ward said. “The cow was kind of hard for me to score. So, whether it was me starting Biscuit too early, or whatever happened, we got going too early. I pulled, he stayed on the ground. I ended up seeing the cow quite a little ways cause I’m leaving too, and just having that chemistry in the box and then in the field too, then to be able to go back to riding and him go to the cow, he did a lot of special things tonight and still made the run fast. But chemistry is probably the word. I feel real confident on him.”
Hawkins rode X, his grade sorrel gelding.
“My horse does everything good every time,” Hawkins said. “I’m proud of my horse. I think pride got a bad name a long time ago, I don’t think that my horse is better than the next guys, but I can’t think of one run in Andrew and my three or four year partnership that he literally cost us the run. X is the first horse really to ever follow Biscuit with a lot of consistency. Biscuit’s one of the most special head horses in the world. That can be positive and negative. It takes extremes to win out here, rodeoing now. But there’s a lot of chemistry there and we’ve been really fortunate.”
Ward and Hawkins will rope in Spanish Fork on Friday, then the short-round at Nampa on Saturday before returning to the Days of ’47 on Monday night where they will go for the gold.
“We come over here last year and didn’t do any good, and it’s a short rodeo if you just come and mess one up,” Ward said. “So for us to come back and get a chance, I don’t know if it’s eight teams or 12 or whatever they take, but at least we get another cow.”
Action at the Utah Day of ’47 Rodeo continues July 22 at 7:30 p.m. MT. Livestreaming on RidePass PlutoTV-Channel 720 nightly at 7:30 p.m. MT. CBS will air the Gold Medal Round of the Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo on July 31 at 11 a.m. MT.
WCRA Days of ’47 Semi-Finals Round 2 Results:
1. Andrew Ward, Edmond, OK/Buddy Hawkins, Stephenville, TX, 4.79 seconds, $1,600 each; 2. Brady Tryan, Huntley, MT/Jake Long, Coffeyville, KS, 4.89, $1,200; 3. Brandon Beers, Powell Butte, OR/Daniel Braman, 10.28, $800; no other qualified times
Gold Medal Round Current Qualifiers:
Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins