Unprecedented

Summers and Long Move to No. 1 in PRCA World Standings with 3 of 4 Go-Round Wins, $102K in NFR Earnings
Clint Summers and Jake Long have won three of the first four go-rounds at the 2023 NFR and have moved to No.1 in the PRCA world standings.
Clint Summers Jake Long NFR Team Roping
Summers and Long have won three of four go-rounds and lead the PRCA world standings after four rounds. | Jamie Arviso Photos

Jake Long remembers being a kid watching Speed Williams and Rich Skelton win round after round at the National Finals Rodeo, and Clint Summers spent his entire childhood roping the dummy with Kaleb Driggers visualizing spinning steer after steer for the win in the Thomas & Mack.

But did they really, truly think they’d ride into the 2023 Finals and smoke three out of the first four steers and have $102,119 a man won, moving them to first in the PRCA world team roping standings? No, they sure didn’t.

“We’re literally living what every little boy who sits out there and watches the NFR dreams of doing,” Summers, 32, said. “I can see myself as a kid still watching it. Seeing Speed and Rich back in the day, it’s like, man, I just wanted to go outside and rope the dummy and pretend that I’m there. To be getting to do this, I don’t even know how to describe it. I swear I don’t.”

The partners made a 3.7-second run at next to last out in the round, besting the second-place time of 3.8 by Luke Brown and Hunter Koch. It paid $30,706 a man for the win, bringing their NFR total earnings to $102,119.23.

“Last night when I missed, I felt like that was the same start I got the first night,” Summers said. “I was in the barrier, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t late, but I was off of it. The steer was just a tick farther in front of me. It still looks the same, even though I missed. Last night being first, maybe I just wasn’t on it. It feels simple. For Transmission, that’s his deal. The steer is right there. He brings the horns to me. Believe it or not, he handles the cow on his own, too. He does an amazing job of letting them hit and open up for Jake.”

Team Roping Heeler Jake Long
Jake Long reaches around one to stop the clock in 3.7 seconds on “Roger,” his back-up-horse-turned-No.1. | Jamie Arviso Photo

Summers, as he said, was on his great horse WSR Hesa Alive, a 19-year-old gelding by Hesa Sonofa Dun out of the mare Smokes Alive by Smokin 45, whom he bought specifically for the Thomas & Mack back in 2021. Long was again on “Roger”—registered as JC Bar Diamond, by Dun It Charlie Socks out of LB Serene Joni by Serene Dude.

“The funny thing to me is I don’t think a lot of people think he’s as good of a horse as he is,” Long said. “But he really fits me. Only two horses I’ve ever got on, from steer one, did I know I wanted this horse. It’s insane to think I was thinking about not riding him here. I keep saying this has to be a God-sent thing.”

Summers has $202,641.56 won on the year, and he leads second-place header Nelson Wyatt by just $6,203.76, with third-place header Tyler Wade only behind Wyatt by $301.44.

“It’s awesome to be at this point and have this much money won,” Summers said. “I feel like life is short. You’ve got to enjoy every moment. You might not make another NFR. You might as well enjoy every one you get when you’re here and not dwell on it. Today, Kaleb (Driggers) actually told me, ‘You know, one day we won’t be able to. There are world champs who’d give up all their gold buckles to run one more steer in that arena.'”

“There are world champs who’d give up all their gold buckles to run one more steer in that arena.” — Kaleb Driggers

Long has $216,142.80 won, only $2,788.17 ahead of second-place heeler Wesley Thorp. Reigning World Champion Junior Nogueira is third in the standings with $188,221.68 won.

“This is the first time in my career, my life, that I truly don’t care how the rest of the Finals goes,” Long said. “If we’re meant to win a gold buckle or however much more money, that’s awesome and I’ll enjoy all of it. But if we don’t win another dollar, I’m going to enjoy these last six rounds. I’m just happy to be here.”

“But if we don’t win another dollar, I’m going to enjoy these last six rounds. I’m just happy to be here.” — Jake Long

Summers and Long are also tied with one another for second in the Ram Top Gun race, trailing Australian bull rider Ky Hamilton by $11,886.35. The partners are fifth in the average with a time of 11.7 on three head.

Wyatt and Jonathan Torres lead the aggregate on four head with a 22.90 on four, and they’ve quietly racked up $51,354.59 a man. If the rodeo ended after Round 4 and aggregate money were awarded, it’s Wyatt who would win the title. On the heel side, Thorp would be the world champion. He and Tyler Wade are 37.40 on four head, sitting third in the aggregate having won $41,201.67 on the week.

2023 NFR Round 4 Team Roping Results:

Team TimePayout per man
Tanner Tomlinson/Patrick SmithNT
Erich Rogers/Paul EavesNT
Rhen Richard/Jeremy BuhlerNT
Coleman Proctor/Logan Medlin4.3$12,877 (4)
Dustin Egusquiza/Levi LordNT
Nelson Wyatt/Jonathan Torres4.8$7,924 (5)
Derrick Begay/Colter Todd5.2 + 5
Kaleb Driggers/Junior Nogueira4.5 + 5 
Tyler Wade/Wesley Thorp4$18,325 (3)
Luke Brown/Hunter Koch3.9$24,268 (2)
Jake Clay/Tyler Worley3.9 + 5
Marcus Theriot/Cole CurryNT
Clay Smith/Paden BrayNT
Clint Summers/Jake Long3.7$30,706 (1)
Andrew Ward/Buddy Hawkins5.4$4,953 (6)

— TRJ —

Nightly round coverage from the 2023 Wrangler NFR is made possible with the support of our sponsors at Resistol.

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