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Begay & Todd, Smith & Bray, Summers & Long Tie for NFR 2023 Round 7 Win
A very crowded victory lap in Round 7.
NFR Team Roping Victory Lap
Jake Long. Derrick Begay, Colter Todd, Paden Bray, Clint Summers and (not pictured) Clay Smith make their Round 7 NFR victory lap. | Jamie Arviso Photo

When Colter Todd rode out of the arena after heeling the first steer of Round 7 in 4.0 behind Derrick Begay, he shook his head thinking they wouldn’t win a dime.

But with seven no-times, their 4.0 tied with Clint Summers and Jake Long and Clay Smith and Paden Bray to win the seventh round of the 2023 NFR, worth $24,333.05 a man.

Begay and Todd

Derrick Begay Colter Todd
Derrick Begay on Caseys Glory by Colonel Jeddo out of Caseys War Bug and Colter Todd on Docs Gunslinger Chic by Gunslinger RL out of GP Docs Affair. | Jamie Arviso Photo

Begay and Todd have won $42,357.28 over seven rounds, but they’re the only team who’ve roped seven out of seven steers. They’re 47.07 on seven.

“I’ve been here 10 years, and I’ve never roped seven in a row without a barrier, too,” Begay, 40, of Seba Dalkai, Arizona, said. “I usually catch the first one and miss the second one or miss the first one and catch the second one. This is the first time I’ve caught seven in a row.”

Begay, who rode his gelding Caseys Glory, and Todd had the steer Logan Medlin missed in Round 1 and Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins roped in 5.4 seconds in Round 4. Begay got it on him fast, and Todd threw on the second jump, not getting the dally he’d have liked but still stopping the clock in 4.0.

“Heeling’s not that easy in this building,” Todd, 38, of Willcox, Arizona, said. “These steers are big and strong, and stuff just doesn’t flow unless you’re Clint Summers and Jake Long. The momentum doesn’t just stay smooth. There’s stuff going on. Steers are big enough that if the head horse doesn’t really have a good holt, they can actually pull on them.”

Begay and Todd are currently ninth and fourth in the PRCA world standings, respectively, with $180,472 and $195,639. However, if the rodeo ended after Round 7 and aggregate money were factored in, the average win would move Begay to second in the world and Todd to first.

Smith and Bray

Clay Smith Paden Bray
Clay Smith busted out his futurity mare Apache Promise while Paden Bray rode the most senior heel horse in the field, Brady Minor’s Leos Highbrow. | Jamie Arviso Photo

Clay Smith made a horse change in Round 5 to Apache Promise, the 2017 palomino futurity mare by Promise Of The Sun out of RH Apache Haven by Apache Blue Boy, that he’s already won $49,519 on at the rope horse futurities.

“I just feel so comfortable on her,” Smith, the 2018 and 2019 World Champ, said. “It had nothing to do with Chief the first couple rounds. I kind of thought we had bad juju going on. I don’t believe in luck, but I wanted to change something. I knew I’d be comfortable riding her, and there’s no better time to crack one out than at the NFR. I’m pretty happy with her.”

Apache Promise has made it look easy over three rounds, and the handles have been pretty sweet in front of Bray and Leos Highbrow, the 18-year-old former AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year owned by Brady Minor.

“I saw a Powerline go by my head, and it hit the horns tight,” Bray, 25, said. “And Sug got me in the perfect spot, and I didn’t really see him. But I knew where he was going, so I heeled him, and I pulled back like Brady Minor. He told me, ‘don’t be scared to pull back on him for 30 grand’ and I did.”

Smith and Bray are ninth in the average with a 26.40 on five head, and if the rodeo ended after Round 7 they’d finish the year thirteenth in the PRCA World Standings.

Summers and Long

Clint Summers Jake Long
Clint Summers reaches on WSR Hesa Alive to turn one for Jake Long on JC Diamond Bar for the Round 7 win. | Jamie Arviso Photo

Clint Summers and Jake Long got their fourth go-round win of the 2023 NFR in Round 7, making a more aggressive run than they’ve made all week to get the flag.

“Luckily, once again, I’ve made seven runs back-to-back-to-back on Transmission, and thank God he has no duck in him,” Summers, 32, of Lake City, Florida, said. “He gives me everything he’s got every time, and he lets me rope the horn. For that much rope, he set the steer up pretty dang decent for that steer. And Jake heeled the crap out of him because that was not an easy steer.”

“I have a really bad habit of trying to help too much sometimes,” Long, 39, of Coffeyville, Kansas, added with a laugh. “Sometimes it’s really good, sometimes it’s to our detriment. That steer was the most heelable he’d been, and to me, he came out great. He was not easy to heel the first two times.”

Summers and Long currently lead the PRCA world standings with $227,074 and $240,575 in earnings. With two no-times, they’re eighth in the average with a 24.40 on five head with three steers left to rope. If the rodeo ended after Round 7, they’d be fourth and third in the world standings to end the year.

NFR 2023 Round 7 Team Roping Standings

Team SteerRound 7 TimePayoutPlacing
Derrick Begay / Colter Todd32424,4331/2/3
Kaleb Driggers / Junior Nogueira 43NT
Tyler Wade / Wesley Thorp57NT
Luke Brown / Hunter Koch45.1$12,877 4
Jake Clay / Tyler Worley13NT
Marcus Theriot / Cole Curry365.779245
Clay Smith / Paden Bray3424,4331/2/3
Clint Summers / Jake Long41424,4331/2/3
Andrew Ward / Buddy Hawkins24NT
Tanner Tomlinson / Patrick Smith314.2 + 5$4,953 6
Erich Rogers / Paul Eaves164.3 + 5
Rhen Richard / Jeremy Buhler384.3 + 5
Coleman Proctor / Logan Medlin8NT
Dustin Egusquiza / Levi Lord7NT
Nelson Wyatt / Jonathan Torres47NT

— TRJ —

Nightly round coverage from the 2023 Wrangler NFR is made possible with the support of our sponsors at Resistol.

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