Oklahoma's Bob Freeman and Nick Sartain came from fourth callback to win the #12 Ariat World Series of Team Roping after roping four head in 30.23 seconds, worth $272,000.
"We prayed on the way around there and I said I want to do a good job for him," Sartain said. "He turned him back and hopped him off good."
Sartain, who is the PRCA's 2009 World Champion Header, has been to the NFR and six times switched over to heeling when he cut off his thumb a year and a half ago.
"He’s a world champion header and to come in here and not miss a heel loop," Freeman said. "That’s a big thing. That’s how handy he is with a rope. If he decides to go and haul he’ll be back at Thomas and Mack."
Sartain also won third in the #13 Yeti Finale with Mike Rowe, worth $127,000. He's won on rodeo's biggest stage, but these two days in Vegas were about a lot more than money and glory for the man on a team-roping comeback tour.
"I won the World Championship in 2009 and won $108,000 out here," Sartain said. "At that time it was a record. But I was so thankful that was my dream since I was a kid. And then, to cut your thumb off and get written off, and come out here and get lucky? I won over $200,000, but I also have to be thankful for my partners and all the blessings I have. That's what it's really about."
Freeman was riding Banker, 13, a palomino gelding that has helped him bank more money than he could imagine.
"I got mine when he was 5," Freeman said. "All of my horses I get cutting-bred. Before this I actually won $227,000 on this horse. Kaleb Driggers hit me up pretty hard for him."
Sartain was on a little sorrel heel horse named JJ, 6, that he's worked on both the head and heel side, registered as Boons Dox by Play Dox out of a Peptoboonsmal mare.
"He’s got money won in the cutting," Sartain said. "I got him from Jared Sikes and he cowboyed on him. I’ve been heading on him a little."
Freeman, who has a reserve world title in the cutting, had a life-changing experience when he had a vision of picking up a rope and buying a head horse.
"The Lord come to me one night and said I want you to team rope," Freeman said. "It entered my mind. I tried to be obiedent. I got me a head horse and I went in and every other word was bad and there was lots of drinking, and I could see what my point was to be there. A few years later, here we are."
Now that Freeman and Sartain added $272,000 to their accounts they have some ideas of what that money can go towards.
"I told my wife the first thing I will give 10-percent to the church, maybe more," Freeman said. "That’s a big deal to me. I try and actually do it. It won't change me. I'm roping in this next rotation, and I'll be riding the same saddle the same horse wearing the same clothes." TRJ