No time. No time. No time.
Lane Ivy and Buddy Hawkins were about to have to borrow their horses’ earplugs, so they wouldn’t have to listen to the announcers here at Rodeo’s Super Bowl repeat themselves like that.
Lane and Buddy definitely did not come to Vegas with goose-egg goals. And breezing their horses down the center of Thomas & Mack Center Arena three straight nights surely was getting old for the both of them.
Time to consult the partner playbook. So Lane—the 26-year-old Wrangler National Finals Rodeo freshman—sought the sage wisdom of his relative veteran/NFR sophomore partner, who’s been here and done this before. Buddy, 32, heeled here in 2013 for Drew Horner, and even made a trip to the South Point to pick up a go-round buckle in Round 3.
“We just had our normal convo—my point being that in the summertime you miss three steers in a row, and nobody cares but you,” said Buddy, who calls Columbus, Kansas, home. “I know he brought the go-round wins with him. It’s not like he left them at home. He’s got it, and he takes it with him everywhere. It was only a matter of time.”
They drew the steer Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison were 4.4 plus five on in the first round, and Lane and Buddy made short work of him in 4.1. Their reward was a hot lap around that sold-out arena instead of the head-hanging ride of shame straight down it.
“Buddy told me, ‘Just keep doing you,’” said Lane, who lives in Dublin, Texas. “He believed in me. I don’t really get mad or nervous, but when you miss one here, that wait before you get to run the next one is the longest 24 hours in your life.
“It’s good to be here to get a buckle. It finally feels like I deserve to be here. I might miss more steers this week. But this is a whole lot better than missing four in a row. And life could be a lot worse than missing three steers at the NFR. I’m very thankful to be here. To beat the best guys in the world one time is a dream come true in itself. My goal is always to be the best I can be, and tonight I got that done.”