Luke Brown and Jake Long split $30,000 after roping six steers in 40.91 seconds, besting the field of 37 teams at this year's Wildfire Open to the World in Hamilton, Texas.
Brown and Long were high call heading into the short round in the progressive-after-three jackpot, which moved to Hamilton after former owner Billy Pipes sold it to Dru Stewart in 2017. In previous years, ropers could enter the jackpot three times, but this year the format changed to enter once.
"I didn't hear how long we had to be, but I figured it was some kind of 8," Brown, who won the Bob Feist Invitational with Long in 2017, said. "I didn't want to break the barrier because I just broke the barrier the other day high call, for $2,000, so I made sure I didn't break the barrier."
"He's maybe been made fun of for that," Long chimed in with a laugh. "Maybe just a little."
Brown rode Cowboy, the 13-year-old sorrel on which he won the Feist and the Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2015. Long rode Colonel, who is 14 in 2018 and has been the AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year for the last two years.
"It's been a good day," Long said. "I rode Colonel again. Like always, he did phenomenal, he did his job. The heel barrier was pretty long, and you really had to sit there and score. There had been a few heel barriers throughout the day, so I was making sure I was off of it. That wasn't going to be the mistake I made today. There were a couple I was a little out of whack on the corner. But he's good enough to let me take a couple more swings–even though that makes me really, really nervous because I don't like to track. It makes Luke nervous, too. He doesn't know how to pull them that far anymore."
Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp were second with a time of 42.81 on six for $18,000, while the new team of Tyler Wade and Trey Yates were third at 44.02 on six for $12,000. Shane Philipp and Joel Bach's 5.18-second run was the short-go fast time, worth $2,500, and Kolton Schmidt and Cole Davison, Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, and Garrett Tonozzi and Blaine Vick each got go-round wins worth $5,000.
Jake Orman and Colton Herrera won the #16 six-steer earlier in the day with a time of 39.67 seconds on six head, worth $21,000, while Dalton and Hunter Titsworth split $10,000 for their win in the #15 five-steer with a time of 35.31 seconds on five. Chad Masters and Jared Stevens won the ProAm Heeling, and Charlie Gorzalka and Junior Nogueira won the ProAm Heading.