Clint Summers had barely said hello to Hayes Smith before riding into the box next to the near-stranger at the Washington State Fair Pro Rodeo in Puyallup last weekend, but that didn't stop the duo from roping three steers in 14.2 seconds to win $6,638 a man at one of the last big rodeos of the year.
"We both got in (to Puyallup), and neither one of us had a partner," Summers, who is roping with Trevor Brazile for the remainder of the season, said. "Kaleb (Driggers) had tried to get us to rope at San Juan but Hayes had told Matt Kasner he’d rope. We planned on roping here. I didn’t really know him at all."
Summers, who rodeoed with Tyler Wade for the first half of the year, and Smith, who has had seven or eight different partners including Justin Davis, Cesar de la Cruz and Russell Cardoza this year, both sit outside the top 15 with two weeks left in ProRodeo action. Smith is 17th with $61,949 won, trailing two-time world champ Chad Masters at 15th by $8,721 and reigning world champ Levi Simpson at 16th by $1,902. Summers is farther out at 19th with $48,264 won heading into the Pendleton (Ore.) Round Up, trailing Buddy Hawkins II at 15th by $15,987.
"I've given myself as good of a chance as I could have," Smith, who got the win aboard his 5-year-old mare Smooch, said. "I have too many rodeos left—me and Justin (Davis) are going. He’s staying hooked with me. I think I’m pretty mentally tough—I’m going to thrive—I like the pressure."
Summers rode Smurf, his 12-year-old sorrel gelding, for all three rounds at Puyallup and he'll ride him at Pendleton with ice nails in his hooves to heel behind Brazile.
Brazile is in the hunt for the all-around world title trailing brother-in-law Tuf Cooper by more than $50,000, and he's sixth in the tie-down roping and ninth in the steer roping PRCA world standings. (Yesterday Cooper was just outside the top 15 in the steer roping but just won the first round at Pendleton. Cooper leads the PRCA world standings in the tie-down with $176,995.) Brazile's long-time partner Patrick Smith went home when they were outside the top 50 heading into August.
"I sent him a text to see if Patrick was still coming to the Northwest," Summers said. "The worst he could tell me was no—so I just asked. He text me back and said Patrick was going, but then Patrick backed out. He called and asked if I wanted to go. He said we missed the books on some, and I told him to tell me where to be and I’d be there. We went to Circle, Mont., first. It was pretty exciting to be roping with him over there–to look over and see Trevor in the heading box.
"It felt pretty good to give Hayes a shot with that win at Puyallup. And if me and Trevor could win about $10,000 here at Pendleton, that would give me a chance. Trevor has to go to Souix Falls, South Dakota, to a Champions Challenge, so he'll miss some rodeos. Clay Smith said he’d go with me to whatever we could get to that weekend if he has to. It's great when guys jump in to help, especially at this point of the year."
PUYALLUP, WASH.: Team roping: First round: 1. (tie) Hayes Smith/Clint Summers and Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.6 seconds, $2,069 each; 3. Coleman Proctor/Billie Jack Saebens, 5.2, $1,636; 4. (tie) Luke Brown/Jake Long and Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.3, $1,203 each; 6. Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira, 5.4, $770; 7. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 5.6, $481; 8. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.7, $192. Second round: 1. Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz, 4.3 seconds, $2,213 each; 2. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 4.5, $1,924; 3. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 4.6, $1,636; 4. (tie) Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza and Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 4.9, $1,203 each; 6. Hayes Smith/Clint Summers, 5.0, $770; 7. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.3, $481; 8. Cory Kidd V/Cole Davison, 5.5, $192. Finals: 1. Hayes Smith/Clint Summers, 4.6 seconds, $480 each; 2. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 5.2, $360; 3. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 5.4, $240; 4. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 5.5, $120. Average: 1. Hayes Smith/Clint Summers, 14.2 seconds on three head, $3,319 each; 2. Erich Rogers/Cory Petska, 14.9, $2,886; 3. Clay Tryan/Jade Corkill, 15.7, $2,453; 4. Chad Masters/Travis Graves, 16.4, $2,020; 5. Luke Brown/Jake Long, 16.5, $1,587; 6. Dustin Bird/Russell Cardoza, 20.2, $1,155; 7. Charly Crawford/Joseph Harrison, 30.8, $722; 8. Tom Richards/Kyle Lockett, 32.0, $289.