first out? no problem

Jake Wells and Bryer Hamilton Set the Pace at WCRA’s 2024 Stampede at The E with Win in Progressive Round 1
Jake Wells and Bryer Hamilton were the first team out in Progressive Round 1, and their 8.22-second run held the top spot to lock them in for the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round.
Jake Wells turning a steer for Bryer Hamilton at the 2024 WCRA Stampede at The E.
Jake Wells and Bryer Hamilton won Progressive Round 1 of the 2024 WCRA Stampede at The E. | Courtesy WCRA

Being first out didn’t bother Jake Wells and Bryer Hamilton at the 2024 WCRA Stampede at The E in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

The Southeastern cowboys set the pace in Progressive Round 1 with an 8.22-second run to win the round Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024.

Wells, a Rainsville, Alabama, native and Hamilton, of Cleveland, Tennessee, not only pocketed $1,500 a man for the first-place finish, they also punched their tickets to the eight-man Triple Crown of Rodeo Round Saturday, Jan. 6—a true relief for both guys who’d made the trek to Guthrie.

WCRA Breakdown

“We’re 12 hours from home, and we also came out here for the IPRA Finals,” Wells said. “He was in (for the Stampede at The E) but I wasn’t, and I had to nominate right there at the last bit pretty big. I barely squeaked in, and it was just a big chance to come out here and try to make it to the eight-man round. So, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to rope Saturday.”

@teamropingjournal First out? No problem for Jake Wells and Bryer Hamilton at the @WCRA Rodeo Stampede at The E ❗️The Southeast cowboys were 8.22 to win Progressive Round 1 and punch their tickets to Saturday’s Triple Crown of Rodeo Round. Story to follow at the #linkinbio ♬ Let's Get It Started – Spike Mix – The Black Eyed Peas

Wells and Hamilton’s Progressive-Round Breakdown

Though they roped in the Qualifying Rounds Jan. 3, Wells was still unsure of the start and their steer. 

“I didn’t really know what we had,” Wells, riding his 19-year-old gelding Slinky whom he actually got from Hamilton, said. “I told him it was either probably going to be a really good or run. And he ran really hard. We just knew we had to go catch, and that’s what I tried to do.”

As the first team to rope, the lifelong friends went and did their jobs, putting the first time of the team roping on the board with an 8.22. The team was relieved to knock one down clean to hopefully have a chance at locking in their spot in the Triple Crown of Rodeo Round through the average, but they never believed an 8-second run would win the round.

“I just thought, ‘We don’t have to do anything crazy tomorrow night,’” said Hamilton, who was riding a 6-year-old gelding he calls Hooligan. “And we just watched some more and watched some more, and I thought no way. Then I thought Casey [Hicks] got us right there at the end, but it worked.”

Meant to be at The E

The pair of 26-year-olds consider themselves lucky—for their entire trip at the Lazy E thus far. Wells and Hamilton were not seeded into the Progressive Rounds and therefore had to knab their spot through the Qualifying Rounds. Only four advance through the Qualifying Rounds aggregate, and though the team had fallen short, luck was on their side.

“I roped a leg yesterday on the second one, and, really, it’s only on technicality that we got back,” Hamilton explained. “We were sixth in the average, but the two teams ahead of us won the first round and the second round. So, they rolled back to us. So far, we’ve had good luck; we’re trying to keep the luck going.”

Wells and Hamilton are big fans of the WCRA, not only for the professionalism of the association but for the opportunities as well.

“It just feels like anybody’s got a chance to come out here and win a lot of money,” Hamilton said. “People like us can come out here and catch. It’s a roping for the working man.”

Results

Progressive Round 1: 1. Jake Wells/Bryer Hamilton, 8.22, $1,500.00; Casey Hicks/Dawson McMaster, 8.32, $1,000.00; 3. James Arviso/Buddy Hawkins, 10.06, $750.00; 4. Heath King/Stephen Britnell, 10.25, $350.00.

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