When World Champion Team Roper Chad Masters presented the largest paycheck of the week during the Ariat #9.5 WSTR Finale he had to admit he’d never seen a one-day, one-division payout quite like that ever before.
For brothers A J and BJ Lopez of South Texas the staggering $346,000 payday is life changing.
“We work six or seven days a week so this kind of money at once is just unreal, that’s a good day’s work right there,” said A J who works full-time in the oilfield services. “We’ll probably put the money into the ranch. We’ve been roping a lot lately, so we’ll probably put some back into that too.”
BJ owns DOS Oilfield Services and imagines his kids will now get their chance at the ski vacation they’ve been asking for.
“We’re definitely looking forward to Christmas now,” he laughed.
Lopez and Lopez were a surprising tenth call back and their total time of 38.24 on four just narrowly held on for the win as the remaining teams dropped out, had costly barriers or were too long.
“When we were sitting on the outside, you know they keep you there until you get moved, it was the longest five minutes ever,” BJ explained. “But it was awesome riding back in the arena.”
The duo had been a late entry and got put on the waiting list. They only got into the Finale after another team had drawn out. Then, his horse came up sore and A J had to borrow a head horse. If things couldn’t get worse, the day before the Ariat #9.5 short round they had the borrowed horse, Zorro, with the on-site veterinarian, Performance Equine Specialists, due to an abscess.
“Luckily I was able to rope on him today,” he said.
On the back end, BJ’s good heel horse had kicked a panel and chipped a bone several weeks before the Finale, so he was riding his brother’s palomino heel horse, Hollywood.
“He’s got a different style than mine,” said BJ. “But I think I can get used to it.”
“We got entered late, we came out here on different horses, but we came because we like it,” A J added. “We work more than we rope but we love the sport, and this is the greatest one to win.”