Texas' Byron Lenox and Kelly Waller won the Priefert #8 World Series of Team Roping after roping four head in 33.84 seconds, worth $208,000.
“I’ll probably just pay some bills,” Waller laughed, as he and his wife Heather have a three-month-old son named Hayse. “It seems like there’s always something, but I love being a dad.”
Lenox and Waller were high-team back. The five teams before them either took no-times or legged, and they roped their short round steer in a quick 8.12 seconds to handily win the roping.
“I popped it off in the short round in the outdoor arena so I just made sure to get him roped this time,” Lenox, a power-plant operator, said. “I gave him a sweet roll and took it right to the bank.”
Lenox rode a 16-year-old sorrel named Amos that helped him catch all four steers.
“Really I stumbled on him,” Lenox said. “I’ve had him about two and a half years. I was trying to heel when a friend of mine was trying this horse. He had me hop on him, and we just clicked.”
Waller was unsure of which horse would be making the long haul to Las Vegas, but ultimately pulled for his grey gelding for his first trip to the finale.
“My young one got hurt earlier in the year so I pulled ‘Wino’ out of the pasture and started riding him,” Waller, who works in sales at Swisher International, explained. “I actually hate him. He’s mean and doesn’t like other horses, or anything for that matter, but he came through when I needed him to.”
Waller had never been to the Finale before, as he says he’s still getting the hang of the finer points of the sport.
“I didn’t start roping until after high school,” Waller said. “Some friends of mine, we just decided to be team ropers. I’m still just trying to figure it out.”
Lenox and Waller didn’t make the drive from Texas on their own. They were accompanied by friend Shannon Rodell, who also roped at the Finale.
“Since I didn’t win any money it looks like I’ll be driving home,” Rodell laughed.
Lenox, Waller and Rodell were accompanied by their wives earlier in the week, but they had to catch a flight back to Texas before the short round of the Priefert #8 Finale.
“I was on the phone with them, they were driving home from the airport,” Rodell added. “They didn’t want to FaceTime so I was giving them a play-by-play. They just went to screaming.” TRJ