As Marty Lindner and Shane Williams backed in the box at the Circle T Arena in Hamilton, Texas, sitting ninth call back in the #13 Heartland Finale, they knew they needed to be an 8.5 or faster to take the lead. They never imagined their 8.3-second run would hold.
“I rode out of the back end and watched the next two teams go and when we were still in the lead I called my wife and talked her through the rest of the teams either roping a leg or breaking a barrier,” Lindner recalled. “We just stood there at the back of the arena waiting. We couldn’t believe it.”
Lindner and Williams, both Texas natives, have known each other since their youth rodeo days but just started roping together a few short years ago.
The duo’s $42,320 payday in Hamilton marks their biggest win as a team and the most money either cowboy has won in a single roping.
“Shane had texted me before the Heartland to see if I was going and we made plans to rope together,” Lindner explained. “I went ahead and lined up a couple more runs, so for about two weeks before that roping I rode horses and roped more than I normally do. I really worked on it and focused on getting my horses tuned up and in shape. So much so, that the day before my son and I left for Hamilton we had a family meeting and I told Luke and Lisa that whatever I won I would split between them—as a thank you for their letting me get ready for the big roping.
“Lisa ended up with her half and I gave Luke $1,000,” Lindner happily reported. “They have been great and sacrificed a whole lot so that I can rope and live the dream of being a competitive roper at this level.”
Marty, Lisa and their son, Luke, 10, reside in Giddings, Texas, where Lindner owns and operates his own oilfield services company, P&L Testing. Prior to starting P&L eight years ago, Lindner and his father operated the Giddings Livestock Commission for 12 years. They still run some cattle together on the side.
Lindner, 46, has been an avid competitor most his life. His father introduced him to calf roping when he was 13-years-old.
“We built a pen in the backyard and I roped calves all the way through college at Texas A&M and competitively for several years after that.”
Lindner was the 1992 PRCA Calf Roping Rookie of the Year and finished second at Cheyenne that same year. He’s had the opportunity to rope calves at Madison Square Garden and finished in the top 25 several times. After a hiatus from the sport, Lindner returned to team roping and has continued to be highly successful in the World Series arena year after year. In 2014, he finished 17th in the #15 Finale with Martin Lucero and 11th in the #13 Finale with Tommy Guy. He and Guy also topped the #13 Consolation in 2013 to pocket $20,000.
“I’ve really focused on my loop, just getting everything caught and having my horses in good shape and working to the best of their ability. I think that’s helped a lot, especially this year. I really want to compliment Shane for our success at the Heartland. He’s a good, solid run and you can always count on him on the back end. He ropes really well and he’s just a great guy.”
The Lindner clan will be making their trip to Finale X a family vacation. They plan to have the horses hauled to Vegas and already have their flights booked.
“When Luke saw the saddle and buckle and everything we won at the Heartland he got pretty excited,” Lindner laughed. “I’ve had a good amount of success out there at the South Point and I’m definitely looking for the big win.”
Shane Brown was also an avid calf roper up through high school and early in his college career. Although he was a Texas High School Team Roping Champion, Brown always preferred to rope calves. Still, he made the decision to give it up while attending Texas A&M in an effort to focus on his education. He continued to team rope but never swung his calf rope again.
“Marty roped a lot more calves than me,” he said. “It takes a lot of work to keep up with it.”
Brown graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and a Masters in Ag Business. He spent several years out of college as a commodities broker and now serves as a V.P. and Branch Manager for Texas Farm Credit. He enjoys what he does for a living, but roping remains his true passion.
“My great grandfather was a member of the Cowboys’ Turtle Association. My dad is a long-time roper and I’ve been roping since I could walk,” he said. “I went to my first team roping when I was probably 4-years-old. I rodeoed a bunch up until the last couple of years and since then I’ve spent a majority of my time at jackpots.”
The 32-year-old also placed second in the #13 Heartland Consolation heeling behind Justin Reininger of Seguin, Texas, to take home another $4,000. Brown consistently ropes both ends, heading in the higher-number ropings and heeling in the #13 and below.
Brown lives in Robstown, Texas, near Corpus Christi, with his wife, Ravyn and their two daughters, Bailey, 7 and Blakely, 4.
“Ravyn was in Hamilton with me so that was fun. We stayed and enjoyed steaks there at the Circle T. That venue is one of the best we get to go to. We really enjoy it.”
Even if you don’t recognize him from the South Texas roping community, Brown might look familiar—strongly resembling his older brother, Scot, who won the #11 WSTR Finale IX in 2014 with the young Texas roper, Clayton Moore.
“That was pretty cool,” said Brown. “I didn’t rope at the Finale last year. In fact, I’ve only roped there once before, in 2013. I placed sixth in the #12 Consolation with Trent Pride. I’m definitely looking forward to going back.”
Brown had already qualified for the #13 Finale early in the year, winning at a Sinton, Texas qualifier with New Mexico’s Kenna Francis, so he and Lindner won’t be roping together in Vegas. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be other big wins in their future.
“We’re just pretty comfortable together,” Brown explained. “Marty is a very good header. He makes it easy for me to heel. Our philosophy is just to make the best run you can on what you draw and it seems to work well for us.”
#13 HEARTLAND FINALE
TOTAL PAYOUT: $220,000
Produced by: Shelley Productions
Date: Sept. 5, 2015
1. Marty Lindner / Shane Brown / $42,320(32.88 on four)
2. Clay Deen / Clay Tyler Whisenhunt / 33.34 / $31,280
3. Micah Smith / Shawn Vargas / 33.49 / $22,080
4. Jim G Coffman / J C Williams / 33.58 / $18,400
5. Tyler Lee Cornett / Ben Runyon / 33.63 / $16,560
Complete results at WSTRoping.com