Over 100 years of tradition, and the Pendleton Round-Up record books will be getting a facelift, as team roping records were matched and broken in the timed event slacks this week.
Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp tied the existing arena record of 4.6 seconds to win the first round, matching David Key and Travis Woodard’s 2015 round two time. Lane Ivy and Cesar de la Cruz were also 4.6 in the second round in 2019.
Then came the record-shattering 4.2-second run from Erich Rogers and Paden Bray, which is now leading round two after the conclusion of team roping slack on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.
“It was a cool run. I knew when we went that we needed to be 5.5 or 5 flat to win something and give ourselves a chance at making the short round (Rogers and Bray were 6 flat plus 5 in round one). That steer was pretty good, and the start I got set up the run. I was thinking I broke the barrier until I heard a couple people yelling that I got out. The steer was trying enough, but when I put it on his horns, he checked up right into Paden’s wheelhouse,” said Rogers, who rode his 15-year-old bay horse, Hot Shot.
A low four-second run is fast anywhere, but when you add coming off the hill onto that grass football field, it adds a whole new element.
“Pendleton is so prestigious and one of the best rodeos of the year. There’s no time to think twice about the grass or any of that. If you think twice or are scared of it, there’s no sense in being here. You can’t beat coming here and having a chance at $5,200 day monies with 137 teams entered this year,” said 2017 World Champion Header Rogers.
That record-setting run was unbelievable, even for Bray, who pulled off the perfect heel shot.
“I looked up and saw 4.2 and I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking 4.6 or 4.7. Our steer wasn’t a loper. I’d seen him go earlier, and he was medium or medium-plus. Rogers got such a good start at him, and it worked out perfectly. When Snow and Thorp went 4.6 in the first round, I was cheering my butt off for them—that was a great run,” said Bray, who relied on his 12-year-old sorrel gelding, Slider, on the grass.
“You see arena records, and wish you could go back and watch the runs. I’ve never had an arena record before, so it’s amazing to have it here as long as it holds. Records at places like here (Pendleton), Cheyenne and Salinas are almost sacred,” said Bray, who won last year’s NFR average heeling for Rogers.
Let ‘er Buck!