Clay Tryan and Jake Long outlasted the pack at the Horse Heaven / Kennewick (Washington) Round-Up, held Aug. 24–28, to add a total of $6,663 to their Pro Rodeo season earnings.
Tryan, who is sixth in the PRCA World Standings with $72,846.55 in season earnings, and Long, who sits seventh with $77,067.47 in earnings, won the average from third callback with a time of 15.3 seconds on three head, worth $4,038 a man.
“I thought we made three really good runs and the short round one was really good,” said Tryan, who won the same rodeo in 2013 heading for Jade Corkill. “That’s what’s always good, is when you feel like you’re roping good, and you come out on top. Nowadays, it’s hard to win first. Neither one of us made any bobbles on all three runs. That’s what happens, I guess, when you roped your best. It seems like it turns out good.”
After watching a few teams rope in the four-second range, Tryan and Long knew they needed to rope aggressively to have a shot at winning the rodeo. They stopped the clock in 4.5 seconds to win the final round, worth $986 a man.
“If we back off and we don’t beat those guys, there’s two teams after us and then you’re looking at fifth, maybe sixth,” Tryan said. “It’s like, ‘Well, I might as well try to beat these guys because I have to. Otherwise, I’m going to win fifth or sixth.’ When you comeback third, that’s not really what you’re trying to do.”
Tryan and Long drew up fourth in the first round in the Monday morning slack on Aug. 23, and made a smooth run to split third in the round with Bryan Reay and Phoenix Everano and Tanner Green and Clay Futrell with a 5.4-second run, worth $1,639 a man.
“Anytime you’re out that early in a big slack, it seems like you get beat up unless you make a pretty good run, and we did do that,” Tryan said. “It’s kind of a hard setup—long score. We just outlasted them in the slack.”
They roped their second steer again in 5.4 seconds, which was too long to place in the round but brought them back to the short round.
“The steers got better in round two,” Tryan said. “We had a good one and we just made a decent run and didn’t place. We knew that if we made about the same run that we made in round one, we would come back good.”
Long heeled on his blaze-faced roan, CJ, while Tryan handled steers on his 11-year-old mare, J-Lo, who he added to his string in June of 2021.
“My other one got a little bit sore. He’s about back but, I’ve been riding her for the last couple months She’s kind of my style,” Tryan said. “She feels a little bit green if it’s really fast, but she’s starting to figure it out. The guy I bought her from did a good job and put a good foundation on her. She wants to be good it feels like, so I think she will be.”
With a month left in the 2021 Pro Rodeo regular season and big money to be won at rodeos like Walla Walla (Washington) Frontier Days rodeo, the Pendleton (Oregon) Roundup and the Ellensburg (Washington) Rodeo, Tryan and Long plan to take each one steer at a time.
“I don’t make game plans anymore,” Tryan said. “I just rope at each rodeo and roping event individually. They’re all different. One you have to go fast; one you have to just catch. Honestly, my next run is Walla Walla [on Tuesday, Aug. 31], and I’m going to try and do good there—not think it too far ahead.”