"It's real after I finally got a dally," Conlan said.
Buddy Reed (50), of Lorena, Texas, and Hamp Conlan (48), of Lampassas, Texas, won the inaugural Ariat World Series of Team Roping's American Cowboy #12.5, earning them $16,500.
"Money is always good," Reed, who is a rancher, a bull riding judge and a hay broker, said. "It's already spent probably before we got it anyway."
Reed and Conlan were the fourth team to back in the boxes at AT&T Stadium. Out of the first three teams, there had only been one catch being the team of Chad Walker and Doug Schmidt with a 8.98. Reed and Conlan knew they needed to catch something in the lower 8-second range and got the timer stopped at 8.50 seconds to move them to the lead.
"The steers, overall, were a lot slower than I kind of expected them to be," Reed said. "I know the guys before us hadn't done much, so I just took my regular, safe throw and he heeled like he always does, usually."
Conlan had faith in his header's ability which allowed him to focus about doing his job of catching two feet.
"With Buddy heading all you have to do is look at the feet," Conlan, who owns eight McDonald's, said about Reed. "You don't have to worry about anything other than looking at the feet. I was looking at the feet and then I couldn't find the saddle horn. Luckily, I had a 37-foot Cactus heel rope. That extra two-foot came in handy today."
Reed and Conlan qualified for The American Cowboy #12.5 in Stephenville, Texas. They moved on to the matching rounds where Reed and Conlon just needed to put a time down on paper to advance to the big show.
"We actually entered one time at Stephenville (Texas) in July," Reed said. "We got lucky and won it. Then you have to match somebody. We were very, very lucky to be here because it came down to the last steer in the match. All the guys had to do that we were matching was stop the clock because we had a no time on the first one. The heeler lost his rope. Then we had to be 30-something on our last one and the good Lord was looking out for us that day. It was all but over. The guys we were roping against were roping really smart. They weren't going to do anything wrong. It was just one of those deals that happens to everybody. You rope steers long enough and you're going to lose your rope and it happened to him that day."
Reed gave Conlan a clean handle on his black 13-year-old gelding he calls Black, who has been a staple item in their team's success from the very beginning of their American journey.
"I bought him about a year ago," Reed said. "He's just a good, solid head horse. He lets you win and it's easy. He's the only one I've got right now."
Conlan rode three different horses during his American journey but, he sealed the deal at The American on his brand new 9-year-old sorrel gelding, Jazz.
"This is the third time we've roped for this American deal and this is the third heel horse I've rode," Conlan laughed. "The first horse I rode in Stephenville, his name is Spot. He's a really good horse. Then I borrowed a horse I used to own. His name is Rickashay. Then I bought this horse that I'm riding tonight (March 7, 2020) on Tuesday from a guy in Louisiana. His name is Jazz and he's 9 years old. He did great. It's the heeler—the guy riding him that always struggles."
Now with the $16,500 in their pockets Reed and Conlan can continue to enter more World Seires ropings down the road.
"We get to go to a couple more team ropings," Conlan said.