Lane Ivy and Buddy Hawkins put themselves on the board in a big way with a win in Round 4 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, stopping the clock in 4.1 seconds worth $26,230.77 a man.
The win came after Ivy missed his first three steers in his first appearance in the Thomas & Mack, a struggle that he blamed on his nerves riding into the box.
"I rode into the box and the lights were bright, then I rode out the back, and that's all I remember," Ivy said of those first three runs. "Tonight, I saw a lot more of the arena. And that was way better."
They made that run on the steer Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison had in the first round and to be 4.4-plus-5, and Ivy took a deep breath in the box and went for it.
"I knew this set of steers was the bigger set of steers, and I needed to get a good start to set him up so Buddy could heel him good. I felt like I got a really good start tonight, and it was way easier tonight than the last three nights, and Buddy got to show everybody why he's so good."
Hawkins expects Ivy to turn every steer for first, he said, so he wasn't caught off guard by the spin.
"It wasn't a spot where I was surprised," Hawkins said. "I haven't even watched the run back, but it felt easy. It felt like a layup. It felt exactly how we prepped for it, and exactly what I expected."
Hawkins rode his grade gelding X, while Ivy stayed on Tate Kirchenschlager's 18-year-old black gelding PaPa, despite suggestions he should switch to Cuervo, the bay he rode all year.
"My bay horse, I can catch anywhere on him," Ivy explained. "But when I catch in the little buildings, it's not easy for Buddy to catch. And it's called team roping for a reason. And if the team is struggling, I'm struggling."
Ivy took more time to reset the horse in the box, and the outcome spoke for itself.
Luke Brown and Jake Long battled back with another solid run, stretching their steer in 4.2 seconds worth $18,192.31 a man and moved from ninth to fifth in the average race. Masters and Kimzey were also 4.2 to split second and third.
Riley Minor and Brady Minor split fourth and fifth with Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira with a 4.3-second run, worth $8,884.61 each. Driggers and Nogueira lead the average with 17.70 seconds on four head. Aaron Tsinigine and Trey Yates won last hole with a 4.8-second run, worth $4,230.77. They are second in the average with 23.70 on four.
In the all-around race, Rhen Richard and Quinn Kesler got a barrier tonight to be 4.2 + 10, but are fourth in the average with 33.70 seconds on four head. Trevor Brazile won the tie-down roping with a 6.8-second run, adding $26,230.77 to his total. All-around leader Tuf Cooper two-looped his calf to tie him in 13.40. Richard was 8.70 in the tie-down, not getting a check but holding him at fourth in the average.
Team Roping Results Round 4:
1. Lane Ivy and Buddy Hawkins, 4.10 seconds, $26,230.77 each
2/3. Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison, 4.20 seconds, $18,192.31 each
2/3. Luke Brown and Jake Long, 4.20 seconds, $18,192.31 each
4/5. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, 4.30 seconds, $8,884.61 each
4/5. Riley and Brady Minor, 4.30 seconds, $8,884.61 each
6. Aaron Tsinigine and Trey Yates, 4.80 seconds, $4,230.77 each