Oregon’s Michael Baker and Oklahoma’s Brandon Gee backed in the boxes to run their first steer in the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Title Fights XI #9.5 as strangers, but four runs later the duo was claiming a new title—Champions.

Baker, 63, and Gee, 41, kicked off their new partnership by winning the #9.5 with a time of 36.49 seconds on four head, taking home $36,100.

“The guy who told me about Brandon, I trust him,” Baker said. “I just know that if I do my job and turn four it makes his job easier. He cleaned it up good and made it look simple.”

After knocking down three head in 26.75 seconds, which was quick enough to come back high team, Gee knew that Baker would turn him another good steer and they stopped the clock on their fourth steer in 9.74 seconds for the win.

“I just needed to rope feet and take a good, smart shot,” Gee said. “That’s what I tried to do all day. He turned me four good ones. They were really easy to look at, and I just timed them up and roped them.”

Baker rode a 9-year-old gelding he calls BC, which allowed him to handle four steers for his partner.

The guy that I bought him from lived in Baker City, so I called him BC,” Baker said. “He was honest. He ran up there, rated and let me rope. He didn’t try to take anything away from me.”

Gee got their runs stopped on a 15-year-old gelding that he’s being trying for about a month.

“He belongs to Nick Simmons,” Gee said. “I guess I’m going to try and buy him now. He paid for himself today. He has a few soundness issues, but he gives you an honest shot every time.”

Gee is grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves as a result of roping at the Title Fights—from a new-found partnership to the plentiful paycheck that will allow him to purchase his mount.

“I’m just thankful to be here and thankful for everybody at home taking care of stuff,” Gee added. “I thank God. It’s just awesome.”

Find the full Ariat WSTR Title Fights XI results HERE.

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