Clint Summers and Ross Ashford were the second team out in the fourth performance of the WCRA Days of ’47 Cowboy Games and Rodeo semi-finals and put major pressure on the final six teams of the night.
Summers, of Lake City, Florida, and Ashford, of Lott, Texas, laid down a run in 4.89 seconds to win the performance, worth $1,600 a man, and advance to the Gold Medal Round on Saturday, July 24.
“I know that if I can just get it on them and set it up for Ross, he likes to throw fast,” said Summers, who qualified for the Wrangler NFR in 2018 on the heel side. “That’s kind of our game plan every time.”
When Summers nodded his and the chute gates opened, the steer broke and ran to the right, making Ashford ride his horse towards the wall of the arena to stay off the steer while trying to keep him in range for Summers’ to rope.
“It was a little bit scary; I’m not going to lie,” Summers said. “He was off to the right. and then when I was throwing it felt like he was checking up on me and I was gaining, of course. I was honestly worried about it popping off, but it stayed on.”
Once Summers got in control of the steer it was game on for Ashford to clean up two feet and get the clock stopped quick.
“Clint got it on him fast and it made it easy for me to catch him,” said Ashford, the 2018 Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year. “If I think about it too long, I might mess up. If I have a good shot, I just want to go ahead and try and take it.”
Summers was on JJ, an 8-year-old sorrel gelding that allowed him to rope on the gain.
“I’ve rode him quite a bit since the winter,’ Summers said. “He’s been a good horse for me. He’s good to jackpot on and is super-fast footed.”
Ashford was heeling on an 11-year-old sorrel mare named Gina, who has been seen heeling steers in the bright lights of the Thomas & Mack under Three-time NFR Heeler Dakota Kirchenschlager.
“Dakota Kirchenschlager used to own her,” Ashford said. “She’s been awesome. She got out of my way and let me rope. That’s what she’s good at—just letting you catch.”
With Summers possibly making a horse change for the Gold Medal Round, they are prepared to keep the ball rolling.
I might ride my other horse JV just for $25,000 because that is a lot of money, and I have a lot of confidence in that horse,” Summers said. “We’ve luckily been doing good this year.”