Two-time World Champion Header Chad Masters and 2019 World Champion Heeler Wesley Thorp added a total of $8,175 to each of their earnings after a big weekend in Iowa and Colorado.
Masters and Thorp won the Iowa’s Championship Rodeo in Sidney, Iowa, with a 4.2-second run, worth $4,831 a man and tied Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves for first at the Carson (Iowa) Community Rodeo with a 4.3-second run, worth $2,258 a man.
“Turns out Iowa was pretty good to me,” Thorp, 24, said. “Sidney was probably one of the best runs that I’ve ever made. It was one of those runs that feels like you should win first place. We ended up drawing an amazing steer at Carson and split that rodeo. We’ve been needing a break this summer. We’ve kind of plucked along and placed here and there. It was just good to catch a good break right there and boost our momentum and confidence a little bit. That run at Sidney was a big run for us.”
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The night before their winning run at Sidney, Iowa, Masters and Thorp added another $1,086 to each of their earnings after placing fifth at the Kit Carson County Pro Rodeo in Burlington, Colorado, with a 5.4-second run.
“I like that run because it was super controlled, smooth and everything just fell into place,” Thorp said. “I like making runs like that, that win money. It’s always fun when you can make a good run like that and control the run. It still proves that controlled, good, smooth runs win money.”
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Masters has been switching up his horse selection throughout the season and ended up riding his 23-year-old bay gelding, Ima Two Eyed Con (Cody).
“Chad has been kind of making some horse changes here and there—kind of figuring out what fits him best,” Thorp said. “I’ve stayed on the same one.”
Thorp rode his 11-year-old black gelding, Little Hickory Boon (Ray Jay).
“I bought him last year around March,” Thorp said. “I’ve known him since he was younger. A good friend of mine owned him and I’ve always tried to get him. When I bought him, I liked him right off the bat, but I didn’t feel like we were just in-sync perfect together like Lex. This year, I wanted to give Lex more of a break. The more I’ve gotten to ride Ray Jay, I’ve really gotten a good feel for him. We’ve clicked really good. I heel about as good as I’ve ever heeled on him. He’s allowed me to do good all summer. He’s just solid and we’re on the same page now.”
Masters is currently 10th and Thorp is 11th with $36,889.37 in PRCA season earnings.
“The main thing for me is I’ve been trying to stay patient and make sure I’m ready. I feel like this year is the hardest it’s ever been on a header because the setups have been longer. There’s been more entries and 99% of the rodeos have been one-headers,” Thorp said about the 2020 ProRodeo season. “Headers have to draw great, nail the barrier and blast them just to win money. It’s just super hard for everybody. It’s been so fast and tough. I think for a heeler, the biggest goal for me was I knew how hard it was on headers this year and how hard the setups were, so I just needed to be ready. You can’t afford to mess up chances.
“We’re at a spot where we’re in the top 15. We’re in an OK spot, but we were just at the very end of the bubble—about 14th or 15th. It was definitely a time to do good because last week and this upcoming week are about the only two big weeks left, per se. The rest of the season is kind of unsure. There’s still good rodeos left, but there’s not big weeks and there’s not multiple rodeos in one week left. A guy really doesn’t want to be sucking air after this upcoming week. It was a great time to do good. It kind of took a little pressure off of us, instead of being in a spot where it could go either way. At least this gave us a little wiggle room and a little confidence going into the upcoming weeks.”
[SHOP: Chad Masters’ Team Roping Essentials]
CACTUS ROPES The Future Head Team Rope
Heel O Matic Bones Heading Dummy
Castle Rock, Colo.: 1. Kaleb Driggers/Carson Johnson, 4.7 seconds, $2,666 each; 2. J.B. James Jr/Brock Hanson, 4.8, $2,385; 3. Garrett Tonozzi/Dustin Davis, 5.1, $2,104; 4. Cory Kidd V/Clay Futrell, 5.4, $1,824; 5. (tie) Casey Tew/Jared Fillmore and Jhett Trenary/Trevor Schnaufer, 5.5, $1,403 each; 7. (tie) Austin Crist/Caleb Anderson, Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates and Philip Schuman/Josh Fillmore, 5.9, $701 each; 10. Brit Ellerman/Trey Johnson, 6.0, $140.
Dodge City, Kan.: First round: 1. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins II, 5.2 seconds, $3,399 each; 2. Nick Sartain/Blaine Vick, 5.6, $2,956; 3. Casey Hicks/Steve Orth, 5.7, $2,512; 4. (tie) Riley Minor/Brady Minor and Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, 5.8, $1,847 each; 6. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 5.9, $1,182; 7. (tie) Britt Smith/Jake Smith and Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 6.1, $517 each. Second round: 1. Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates, 4.3 seconds, $3,399 each; 2. J.B. James Jr/Brock Hanson, 4.5, $2,956; 3. Lightning Aguilera/Michael Fortenberry, 5.0, $2,512; 4. Kolton Schmidt/Hunter Koch, 5.2, $2,069; 5. Cory Kidd V/Clay Futrell, 5.5, $1,626; 6. Erich Rogers/Paden Bray, 5.7, $1,182; 7. Kal Fuller/Reagan Ward, 5.9, $739; 8. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 6.0, $296. Finals: 1. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 6.0 seconds, $1,465 each; 2. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 6.1, $1,212; 3. Nick Sartain/Blaine Vick, 6.3, $960; 4. Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, 7.2, $707; 5. Coy Rahlmann/Ryan Von Ahn, 15.4, $455; no other qualified runs. Average: 1. (tie) Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley and Nick Sartain/Blaine Vick, 18.1 seconds on three head, $4,766 each; 3. Aaron Tsinigine/Kyle Lockett, 18.8, $3,769; 4. Luke Brown/Patrick Smith, 19.8, $3,104; 5. Coy Rahlmann/Ryan Von Ahn, 28.4, $2,439; 6. Casey Hicks/Steve Orth, 12.3 on two head, $1,773; 7. (tie) Bubba Buckaloo/Cole Davison and Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 12.6, $776 each.
Woodstown Pilesgrove, N.J.: 1. Zane Kilgus/Ryan Whetham, 7.0 seconds, $1,009 each; 2. Rob Toth/Casey Cox, 8.1, $757; 3. David Ballantyne/J.R. Wenger, 8.8, $504; 4. Tim Naylor/T.R. Serio, 12.9, $252.
Mesquite, Texas: 1. (tie) Stratton Lopez/Andy Smallwood and Cash Hendrick/Taylor Varner, 6.0 seconds, $577 each; 3. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins II, 6.3, $330; 4. Ty Arnold/Eddie Medina, 6.9, $165.
Burlington, Colo.: 1. Kellan Johnson/Cory Petska, 4.4 seconds, $2,270 each; 2. Jake Cooper/T.J. Watts, 4.7, $1,974; 3. Jaguar Terrill/Tyler Whitlow, 5.0, $1,678; 4. Eric Martin/Jason Gilchrist, 5.2, $1,382; 5. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, 5.4, $1,086; 6. (tie) Levi Simpson/Shay Dixon Carroll and J.B. James Jr/Brock Hanson, 5.5, $642 each; 8. Garrett Tonozzi/Dustin Davis, 6.4, $197.
Carson, Iowa: 1. (tie) Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp and Colby Lovell/Paul Eaves, 4.3 seconds, $2,258 each; 3. Paul David Tierney/Matt Kasner, 4.4, $1,786; 4. Kaleb Driggers/Cory Petska, 4.5, $1,471; 5. (tie) Joshua Torres/Jonathan Torres and Cory Smothers/Brandon Gonzales, 4.6, $998 each; 7. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.8, $525; 8. Adam Rose/Shad Chadwick, 5.0, $210.
Phillipsburg, Kan.: 1. Jeff Flenniken/Tyler Worley, 4.8 seconds, $5,235 each; 2. (tie) Matt Sherwood/Trey Yates and Clay Smith/Jade Corkill, 4.9, $4,409 each; 4. Jake Clay/Martin Lucero, 5.2, $3,582; 5. Riley Minor/Brady Minor, 5.3, $3,031; 6. (tie) Charly Crawford/Logan Medlin, Tanner Tomlinson/Brady Norman, Lane Stock/Bruce Reidhead and Brandon Webb/Kollin VonAhn, 5.4, $1,653 each; 10. Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins II, 5.5, $276.
Sidney, Iowa: 1. Chad Masters/Wesley Thorp, 4.2 seconds, $4,831 each; 2. Coleman Proctor/Ryan Motes, 4.5, $4,323; 3. (tie) Clay Tryan/Jake Long and Nelson Wyatt/Levi Lord, 4.6, $3,560 each; 5. Colby Lovell/Paul Eaves, 4.9, $2,797; 6. (tie) Brenten Hall/Chase Tryan and Kaleb Driggers/Cory Petska, 5.1, $2,034 each; 8. (tie) Pace Freed/Dustin Searcy and Dawson Graham/Dillon Graham, 5.2, $1,017 each; 10. Cale Markham/Cody Doescher, 5.3, $254.
Sac City, Iowa: 1. Jake Orman/Brye Crites, 4.4 seconds, $1,806 each; 2. Billy Bob Brown/Jake Edwards, 4.8, $1,495; 3. Mitchell Barney/Jace Engesser, 4.9, $1,183; 4. Coy Rahlmann/Ryan Von Ahn, 5.1, $872; 5. Butch Levell/Heath Williams, 6.2, $560; 6. (tie) Jeff Johnston/Ty Talsma and Keith Hanna/Corey Barnett, 6.5, $156 each.