The Big Daddy, an Ariat World Series of Team Roping qualifier produced in Wyoming by John Johnson's JX2 Productions, topped $900,000 in payout July 15-20, held for the first time at Cheyenne’s Frontier Park—smashing any previous event records in JX2's history.
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“We were so blessed,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t have asked for better. The cattle were great. My staff was unbelievable. We had 2,921 teams, and we didn’t know for sure it was happening until about three weeks before. This industry is awesome, and I’m so blessed to have the corporate partners who truly want us to succeed. Everyone got us all of our prizes, our products, arena stuff, ropes. It all came together. Everyone is backed up and had people laid off, and they all stepped up to the plate anyway. I can’t thank those people enough. They all just really came through for us. What a deal. We had 55 people working out there. I can’t even believe it—it was something else.”
Thursday July 16 was Johnson's single largest day in history, paying out $275,300 across a #16.5, #15.5, #14.5 WSTR qualifier, #13.5 seven-header and #13.5 Muley Slide.
"This is a top-five event each year," WSTR President of Roping Operations Ty Yost said. "John's one of our best producers, and this was a great event. Roping at Frontier Park, paying more than Cheyenne Frontier Days has paid for 30 years, that's pretty special. The greats have competed there, and some of the greats have died there."
The roping added an Open Gold Buckle Beer Qualifier this year, won by World Champion Levi Simpson and NFR heeler Shay Carroll, and the week finished off with a breakaway roping, won by Kirby Eppert, and an All-Girl Women's Rodeo World Championship Qualifier, won by Hope Thompson and Kelsie Chace.
Gold Buckle Beer Open: Levi Simpson and Shay Carroll, 28.38 seconds on four head, $11,160,
#13.5 Slide: Beau Rees and Kycen Winn, 34.47 seconds on four head, $3,750
#16.5 Warm-Up: Brian Dunning and Todd Wilson, 29.98 seconds on four head, $6,980
#15.5 Warm-Up: Justin Dean Smith and Chris Young, 27.80 seconds on four head, $10,740
#14.5 WSTR Qualifier: Jim Brinkman and Gralyn Elkins, 31.05 seconds, $16,310
#13.5 Slide Muley: Michael Benavides and Kason D. Wolfe, 31.33 seconds on four head, $6,320
#13.5 Super 7: Beau Rees and Caleb Hendrix, 64.97 seconds on seven head, $36,000
#13.5 WSTR Qualifier: Beverly Robbins and Mike White, 32.63 seconds on four head, $20,440
#12.5 WSTR Qualifier: Lou Stuart and Cody H. Christensen, 33.51 seconds on four head, $21,890
#12.5 Slide Muley: Chad Buffington and Cash Palmore, 31.10 seconds on four head, $8,120
#11.5 WSTR Qualifier: Jeremy Evans and James Watson, 35.28 seconds on four head, $23,040
#10.5 WSTR Qualifier: Gary Haynes and Derek Hermes, 33.71 seconds on four head, $22,520
#10.5 Slide Muley: Hannah White and Jared Gipson, 22.23 seconds on three head, $7,220
#9.5 WSTR Qualifier: Jamie McElhaney and Kale B. Morse, 37.30 seconds on four head, $23,140
#8.5 WSTR Qualifier: Patrick Weaver and Earl Higgins, 39.73 seconds on four head, $13,850
#8.5 Bonus: Cactus Barnes and Jerry Kraft, 28.55 seconds on four head, $5,490
#8.5 Bonus High-Point Saddle Winner: Owen William Gillespie
Ladies: Hope Thompson and Kelsie Chace, 35.01 seconds on four head, $4,540
Ladies Incentive: Danielle Wray and Jennifer Daly, 25.77 seconds on three head, $1,000
Ladies Breakaway: Kirby Eppert