Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp won the first-ever World Class Invitational Open after roping four head in 18.04-seconds to split $60,000 plus Gist gold buckles at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge in New Town, North Dakota.
“I was pumped that we won it,” Snow said. “To win the first one, too, that’s really one of the top three ropings of the year. The Strait is gone and there’s the BFI which pays more but it also costs more to enter. For the money you’re going to put up at the World Class Invitational, the rounds pay $2,000 and there’s a lot of chances to make it back.”
“It’s a long way up there, which we flew up,” Thorp said. “It was neat because the summer’s coming up and to have a pretty good win before we leave for the summer and some other good jackpots coming up, it was exciting to get a good win together especially with your main partner. It was such a tough roping so it was pretty neat to come through in the short-go.”
The roping started out with five rotations with 22 teams in each rotation. In the qualifying rounds each team is guaranteed two steers. Then from the rotations they brought the five fastest times on two head, two incentive teams and one fast-time of the rotation for a total of eight teams. Snow and Thorp ended up qualifying through their fast-time in rotation four with a 4.26-second run.
“Our first run in the qualifying round, Cody lost his dally and then we came back on the second one and were 4.2 to win fast-time in the rotation so we advanced that way,” Thorp said.
Snow and Thorp then roped three head in 14.21 seconds to come into the short round in the number-two spot. They needed to be 4.40 seconds to move into the first in the average and stopped the clock in 3.83 seconds, putting pressure on the high-call team of Clay Tryan and Cory Petska who unfortunately took a no-time.
“I knew we made a good run, but I know that I’ve been in that place before," Snow said. "At this level now, no matter how good of a run you make, they might be faster on the next run. I was just happy—I knew I was guaranteed the money. I figured that here’s where you either win or you don’t win. Usually Cory’s not going to miss right there. I think they had to be 4 and I thought they were going to do it. I was bummed for them—I don’t wish bad upon anybody. But I was pumped that we won it.”
“We couldn’t really hold back much,” Thorp said. “The plan was to go in there and make the most aggressive run we could without trying to beat ourselves. It was so tight, I was curious to see how it was going to go. For what it paid I was happy with second. I thought we had a pretty good chance to win it because they were half a second ahead of us. Cory actually heeled the steer and lost him. There wasn’t much room for error.”
Snow was heading on his brown gelding, Burt. Thorp was on a newer horse called Lex.
“I’ve just been riding Burt and kind of got a groove on him, so I brought him over there. He’s good in the short setups. I can get close to the steers and get a good handle on him. I like him in the buildings.”
“I started riding Lex full-time in California and I’ve gotten to where I really like him,” Thorp said. “He’s my main horse now. He’s a little easier to rope on and a little more forgiving.”
Snow not only qualified to the top 40 with Thorp–he also made it back with his two other runs heading for Billie Jack Saebens and Trey Yates.
“It was good to have three bullets,” Snow said. “You can kind of be a little more aggressive. It seems like you’re not trying to conserve one run as bad—you are, but against 40 teams your odds are better.”
The World Class Invitational also paid two holes in the Open for a #16 incentive. Clayton Van Aken and Riley Pedro won first in the incentive with a 21.93 on four head, splitting $8,000.
“I especially like it because they made it for the incentive,” Snow said. “That paid pretty good just for the incentive. It gives everybody a chance.”
“It makes it good for circuit guys and people up there to go and feel like they have two chances to win,” Thorp added. “They can rope against themselves and have a good chance to make it back and it pays pretty good to win the incentive. Then they can double-dip in the main roping so it gives them another good reason to enter.”
For the World Class Invitational being a first-year roping, Shane Johnson, Travis Tryan, and the rest of the crew worked hard to put on a first-class roping and one of the biggest pay-outs of the year.
“It’s awesome what they’re doing for team ropers and putting up that much money,” Snow said. That was a really well-run roping and they had good cattle—they were there for the ropers. I think people should go to it—it’s a good opportunity.”
“For the first time I thought they had a pretty good turnout,” Thorp said. “They had a even set of steers and it seemed like everyone there that was a part of the casino and the roping really wanted to cater to everyone and acted like they really want to support it again. The way it was run and the money that was added was dang sure hard to turn down, so I could see it growing every year.”
1. Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp, 18.04 on four head, $60,000 and Gist Gold Buckles
2. Clay Smith and Jade Corkill, 18.62 on four head, $40,000
3. Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves, 19.39 on four head, $30,000
4. Clay Smith and Kollin Von Ahn, 19.99 on four head, $20,000
5. Garrett Tonozzi and Brett Tonozzi, 21.31 on four head, $14,000
6. Clayton Van Aken and Riley Pedro, 21.93 on four head, $8,000
1. Clayton Van Aken and Riley Pedro, 21.93 on four head, $8,000
2. Brooks Dahozy and Cody Hill, 23.15 on four head, $5,000