Sursa and Witbeck Win YETI #10.5 Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale

Heavy Sursa and Slade Witbeck won the YETI #10.5 Ariat World Series of Team Roping after roping four steers in 34.60 seconds, worth $342,000.

For several decades Heavy Sursa, Bluebell, Utah, has traveled the country competing at jackpots of every level and he finally struck gold when he won the YETI #10.5 WSTR Finale with heeler Slade Witbeck, Vernal, Utah. Their 8.44-second short round run held from seventh call back to seal the deal and the duo took home $342,000 after turning in an average time of 34.60 on four.

When the eighth call back team of Nora Hunt-Lee and Justin Johnson, both of Fallon, Nevada, clocked an 8.12 and moved to the lead it put the pressure on.

Heavy Sursa turning the short round steer for Slade Witbeck to pick up two feet for $342,000. Jennings Photograpgy

“We actually drew one that ran a little harder,” Witbeck said. “Heavy did a great job. He let us rope him and we were lucky our time held.”

When Witbeck got his dally and the steer came tight he discovered he had no right rein.

“I’m not sure when it snapped off,” he recalled, grateful for the outstanding mount that carried him to the big win. The yellow heel horse he calls Tin Man came from Quinn Kesler and Double Dollar Livestock. Registered DD Peptos Magic Chex, the 5-year-old gelding just keeps getting better and better. “You can honestly do anything on him. I don’t think anyone could offer me enough. That horse is going nowhere.”

Sursa’s Sun Frost bred head horse, Dillon, is also off the Double Dollar.

“He’ll turn 9 this next week,” he said. “You can run 20 steers on him, and he stays the same.”

When Witbeck was a kid he used to watch Sursa at the local jackpots and never imagined they’d be where they are today.

“I used to get the Super Looper and I’d see Heavy in there,” said Witbeck, who actually grew up in a predominately cutting horse family. “I always looked up to him. We got hooked up to rope one day and we’ve been partners ever since.”

Sursa, Witbeck and their families surrounding their many trinkets. Jennings Photography

The Utah team qualified for the Ariat WSTR Finale XIV during the Triple T Productions’ Perfect 10 Super qualifier at the South Point back in March.

“We’ll be back again this March for that one,” said Sursa. “At my age you don’t know how long you’re going to be here, so I’m not going to miss a thing.”

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