Another new professional rodeo team that will be cracking out by the time the Bob Feist Invitational rolls around is 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers Rhen Richard and Clint Summers.
Summers qualified for the 2018 NFR with 2017 World Champion header Erich Rogers, who recently picked up Resistol Rookie contender Payden Bray.
"I’m pretty excited to rope with Rhen," Summers said. "We’ve kind of always been buddies. He’s always roped good and rode really good horses. It just never really worked out for us to rope together before. We roped at Puyallup (Washington State Fair Pro Rodeo) last year, and then we entered a couple jackpots together. I thought we’ve always roped good together, but we never have rodeoed together."
Summers made the bold move by shooting Richard a text when he was in need of a run. It wasn't until a few weeks later that Richard would respond, in hopes that Summers was still looking for a header. Richard started out the 2019 season roping with Quinn Kesler, who he roped with for the 2018 NFR.
"I texted Rhen when my whole deal happened," Summers said. "He was actually with Quinn (Kessler) then. They were still roping and he thought they were going to stick it out. I don’t know what happened, or how it came about, but he texted me back a week or two later and asked me if I still needed a partner. I said, ‘I sure do’. We just decided to try it out. He knows what it takes and I feel like I have really good horses now."
"He’s (Kesler) got a bunch of young horses and he puts on some ropings in the summer," Richard added. "We didn’t have a great winter. I guess he needed to be home more."
Summers will have three horses with him, including one of the greatest mares in team roping history Lil Kim.
"I have Smurf (14) and Junior (13)–I guess Lil Kim (19) will have to go some, but mainly Smurf and Junior." Summers said. "I think I’ll probably be on Smurf at the rodeos, but the BFI will probably be on Junior. Junior is a little more forgiving and a little bit more free. I think he’s a really good jackpot horse. Lil Kim will be there just in case I need her. She’ll always be there just to fall back on. She knows the deal, but she’s just lost a step or two."
Richard will have his buckskin gelding, Festus (13) and a young, bay gelding he calls Apple (8) on the road with him.
"I’ll ride the little buckskin horse a bunch," Richard said. "Then I have a young horse that I brought out to California that I think I’ll be able to use some. The buckskin horse is pretty good anywhere outside—he gets kind of tight inside. I think I’m set pretty good there. The little bay horse is green, I haven’t rodeoed on him a whole lot. He’s been pretty good out in California, so I think I’ll be able to kind of ride him where ever."
In the meantime, Summers picked up Ty Blasingame to rope at the Texas Circuit rodeos. Richard picked up Bucky Campbell for the California run over a friendly phone call with 2016 World Champion heeler Jeremy Buhler.
"I was actually talking to Jeremy Buhler on the phone,” Richard laughed. “He was sitting next to Bucky and he asked who I was going to rope with and I told him I didn’t have a partner and Bucky heard it and he was like, ‘well, let’s rope.’ I said, ‘well, okay, let’s do it.’”
Richard and Summers plan to start their partnership by the time June rolls around then head to the BFI and Reno Rodeo. TRJ