Reigning World Champion Header Erich Rogers of Round Rock, Arizona, and his first-time NFR heeler partner Clint Summers of Lake City, Florida, won the first-ever World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA) Jackpot at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma, with a time of 32.10 seconds on five head.
The jackpot 19-team roping paid Rogers and Summers $7,200, or $3,600 a man, for the win. The $500-a-man, enter once, progressive after one jackpot was 80-percent payback on Bobby Joe Hill's M-branded cattle, the same cattle that will be used in the Semi-Finals event Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Read more: Short Memories with Erich Rogers
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"It was good to see the setup before the Semi-Finals," Summers said. "I think the barrier was a foot over, and I think last night was the first time they had a neck rope on."
Summers rode his 11-year-old gelding that came from Ty Arnold, while Rogers rode Hotshot, his 13-year-old bay.
"The steers were fresh but good," Rogers said. "There were some stronger, some weaker, but all-in-all, they were good. We drew one weaker steer but he was good, too."
Rogers and Summers qualified for the Semi-Finals on Friday, November 16, based on their qualification for the Salt Lake City Days of '47 Rodeo. The top 150 in the timed event standings as of the end of October are eligible to compete at the Guthrie event, billed to payout some $500,000 to winners across disciplines, including breakaway roping.
"I think they're doing a great job and dang sure doing something different from going to the ProRodeos," Rogers said. "They're giving everybody an opportunity. A lot of people are coming in to compete, and it will be a good turnout. There's no choosing one or the other."
"It pays a lot of money, and is a big opportunity for somebody to win life changing money," Summers added. "I hope to see it succeed, and for it to grow and for more people to try it out. People like these people here are just trying to help our sport grow, and I’d like to see more of it."
Clay Tryan and Travis Graves won second in the jackpot, worth $3,720, for a time of 34.44 seconds on five head. Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira won third with a time of 35.52 seconds on five, worth $2,480.