The Jackpot King and Three-time World Champion Header Clay Tryan and three-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Chase Tryan teamed up to win the Mike Cervi Jr. Memorial Pro Classic Open in Casa Grande, Arizona.
The Tryan’s came into the short round at high team back and knocked down their fifth steer in 7.42 seconds to secure the win. They sealed the deal after turning in a time of 32.23 seconds on five head, worth $16,622 a man.
This episode of The Score is brought to you by Fast Back Ropes.
More with Clay Tryan:
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Transcript provided by Casey Allen, University of Tennessee-Martin
[Chelsea] This is Season 3 of The Score, The Team Roping Journal’s regular podcast, where the team roping world talks. We’ve told the stories of some of the greatest cowboys, horses, and moments in the sport, and we are so far from done. In 2020 we’ll bring you more of what you’ve come to expect, like interviews with the best cowboys and cowgirls we know, and we’ll dive even deeper into subjects you care about. Look for more audio editions of The Team Roping Journal stories you might have missed in print and learn about the great horses shaping the sport and great challenges facing our industry. All this and more in 2020. I’m Chelsea Shaffer.
[Chelsea] Hey everybody. This is Chelsea. Today’s episode is gonna be brought to you by Fast Back Ropes. Kaitlin, our assistant editor and my co-host, is gonna do the interviews because she is lucky and she is in Arizona right now talking to the guys who won the Cervi. So enjoy today’s episode and I will talk to you more at the commercial break in the middle of the show.
[Kaitlin] Hey everyone, it’s Kaitlin Gustave. Before we jump into today’s episode with the Mike Cervi Jr. Memorial Pro Classic Open Winners, I just want to give you a little run down of what happened yesterday. Obviously, Clay Tryan and Chase Tryan won that roping. They were 32.23 on 5 head, and that paid $16,622. If you weren’t there, or you weren’t watching on our Facebook or Instagram, I was trying to keep up with their runs, they pretty much had it won since the first round. They didn’t pay for the first round, but they won the first round. They just kept knocking their steers down, and they made it look easy. It was really fun to watch them. So congratulations to those two. I know they came in high call and their steer kind of went left. Clay got him roped, and then Chase just swooped right in there and heeled them. It was really good watching and congrats again you guys. Clay Tryan also won 2nd with his partner, Jake Long. They were 32.28 on 5 head, and that paid $13,756 a man. Man, Clay Tryan had a day. There is a reason why he is “The Jackpot King,” and it showed yesterday. We’re just gonna through the rest of the results. Third was Luke Brown and Patrick Smith, they were 33.51 on 5 head, and that paid $10,890 a man. 4th was Charly Crawford and Brock Hansen, they were 33.93 on 5 head, and that paid $8,025 a man. 5th was Brenten Hall and Jaylen Eldridge, they were 34.26 on 5 head, and that paid $5,158 a man. 6th was Jake Barnes and Calgary Smith, they were 34.52 on 5 head and that paid $2,866 a man. They also had a 15 incentive, and that went to Dwight Imus and John Phillip. They were 34.08 on 5 head, and that paid $2,500 a man for that incentive. In the short go, fast time 1st went to Brenten Hall and Jaylen Eldridge. They were 5.69 on their short round steer and that paid $1,000 a man. Second in that fast time short go in was Dwight Imas and John Phillips, they were 5.87 and that paid $700 a man. It was a great roping, it was a long day. I think the roping started a little bit after 10:30 and got over around 6:30, so it was a good about 8 hour day, I’d have to say. It was a long day, it was warm out, but it was some great watching. The steers held up, the ropers looked phenomenal, I definitely suggest heading out there. Enough of me talking about Arizona and the roping, let’s let the champs talk for themselves. Enjoy this interview with Clay Tryan and Chase Tryan after they won the Mike Cervi Jr. Pro Classic Open in Casa Grande, AZ. Remember, this episode is brought to you by Fast Back Ropes, and what better than having a Fast Back endorsee win the roping. Congrats Clay Tryan.
[Kaitlin] Hey everyone, welcome to The Score. I’m sitting here with the winners of the Mike Cervi Jr. Pro Classic Open Roping, Clay Tryan and Chase Tryan. Can you guys walk me through your runs today?
[Clay] I don’t know if this is true, but I think we led from the first steer ‘til the last steer. I don’t know if anybody passed us at any point, but I think we led it from start to finish. Sometimes it’s just your day. I’ve come to this roping a lot and felt like I’ve drawn as bad as you can possibly draw. Today they paid me back the favor and I drew some good ones. Me and Chase kind of let everybody catch back up, we had such a lead, I just wanted to start catching. I about messed it up on the last one, about went too slow. I wasn’t trying to. Me and Jake,we won second, in the last round we had some of the runners, he was one of the best in the herd. I about messed him up. It just worked out. It’s a long day, it’s a beating.
[Kaitlin] I was gonna say, how many hours were we here?
[Clay] It was too long. I felt bad for them, that was a beating. To get through that winning it and then winning 2nd, I mean, I’ve had some good days in my career, this is one of the better ones. Anytime you win 1st and 2nd with 200 teams. At the Windy Ryon one time, I won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with a couple hundred. That’s still the greatest day I’ve ever had, but this is right up there, as far as jackpots go . It’s hard to win 1st and 2nd nowadays with this group of guys.
[Kaitlin] I was going to say, you guys looked pretty clutch all day, watching all of your runs. Chase, kind of talk about Clay’s handles today.
[Chase] They were easy, they’re always easy. (Laughing) He does a good job. It’s easy heeling for the best in the world.
[Kaitlin] Right, and you guys were high call back. You guys ended up being 32.23 on 5 head, and split $33,244. How is that going to help you guys going down the road right now? It’s the beginning of your guys’ run for the year.
[Clay] Well, the only way to make money roping, in my opinion, is at the big jackpots and the NFR. There’s a few rodeos now, Houston and The American, if you win first place, but other than that, it’s kind of all if you have a good jackpot year. I’ve always taken jackpotting seriously, and try to do good at it. Obviously it’s a big win, any time you win $30,000 in one day, that’s a big win nowadays. It feels good to finally get it done here. I’ve never won it, been here a bunch of times, glad to finally do it.
[Kaitlin] I gotcha, what about you, Chase?
[Chase] I’ve never won a major jackpot before, so it felt really good to close it out. I’ve been heeling really bad lately at the rodeos, and it felt good to just make it through the whole day. Like he said, we started out good, and just kept going the whole day. It felt good.
[Kaitlin] Do you think, I mean obviously it’s a 5 header, and I don’t know if this is a dumb question or not, since everything is kind of going to the tournament style, do you think, you’re kind of having a slow winter, does this kind of help you guys, having to be able to go knock down runs?
[Clay] I mean, this is the way roping should be. Not just one steer at a time. I mean, when it’s one steer at a time, a lot of times, (inaudible). If you won today, you roped good. Whether we would have won it or not I’d have said it. Any of these big ropings, when it’s like this, if you win it you roped good. It just feels good to do it. I’m old school, but I like this kind of stuff. It’s fun to do it. I haven’t had much success here, like I keep saying, but sometimes you get in a groove places and you win every time, it feels like. Certain places you never get in a groove, and today I finally got it. I was good on three, but with another guy I messed up, so I don’t know, I’m just glad to do it. Big Jackpots are huge. I wish there was more of them.
[Kaitlin] How about you, Chase?
[Chase] (Laughing) It just feels good.
[Kaitlin] (Laughing) So how many times have you been to the Cervi?
[Clay] I don’t really know. I haven’t been the last few years because they kind of put The American right on top of it. I’ve probably been here, though, 15 or, I don’t know, 16 times. I think I won 2nd twice, 2 other times, but never won it.
[Kaitlin] And you’re known as one of the winningest jackpotters there is, as Chelsea said in your last podcast that you were on, that you are the jackpot king. What kind of goes into that?
[Clay] Well, a lot of it is just having a long career. So, I’ve had that. It’s kinda when they start talking about that it just means you’re getting old, for the most part. No, it’s good. It’s better than to not have done it. I was tired of always being broke and I saw these older guys that were always better than me at jackpots, so when I was younger I tried to figure it out. I entered every pot and used to get my butt whooped every time, and then I kind of figured out how to do it. Days like this, you need a good horse. My horse is really good. That’s part of it. You can’t do it without a great horse. You can win every once in a while and luck out, but you can’t win 1st and 2nd.
[Kaitlin] Yeah. You have to be on something good
[Clay] I think so.
[Kaitlin] I think so too (Laughing).
[Clay] You can think it’s all you, but it’s not. My horse did really good. Last year I won quite a few big ropings on him. Like I said, it was good to do it.
[Kaitlin] What horse was that?
[Kaitlin] Okay. Johnson’s always pretty clutch, I feel like.
[Clay] Yeah, Johnson’s one of the best horses I’ve ever had. He’s easy to get along with. I just like my Johnson.
[Clay] He’s a pretty sweet little horse, he really is. I’ve enjoyed getting to ride him, it’s pretty fun.
[Kaitlin] And Chase, were you on Friendly today?
[Chase] Oh yeah.
[Kaitlin] Kind of talk about Friendly, I feel like you ride him pretty much everywhere.
[Chase] Yeah. I have another one that I rode the other day but he’s still a little bit sore. I roped really bad that day but I thought he was good. He’s just a little bit off. I missed some steers, but he’s been pretty clutch. I’ve owned him for a long time, since 2013.
[Kaitlin] Oh, wow.
[Chase] He was 6.
[Kaitlin] So you both know each other’s game?
[Chase] We’ve been through some stuff.
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[Kaitlin] Can you describe this set up for me, cause it’s kind of unique? I know yesterday, there was some horses that were falling on this dirt, so just kind of talk to me about this set up.
[Clay] Oh, I don’t know about the dirt. It seemed better today. The problem is when you start letting them out. Yesterday the score was long, long, hard, and today they shortened it, which made it a better roping, I thought. Yesterday, I mean I was doing pretty good, but it felt like it was pretty slick out there. You’re going 100 miles an hour. Today, to me, was the perfect kind of set up. I said it before I won the roping. It was still long, but you didn’t have to kill your horse off. Every roping, there’s always something. These steers are good steers, they run. It was hot out today, but they stayed strong really for as many times as they went and as hot as it felt like it was today. Like I said, great roping overall.
[Kaitlin] How far did you have to score them out today?
[Clay] The measurements were a foot under with a rope barrier, it usually pulls, it was like tail to pin, probably. The box is pretty long, so it wasn’t like you were just on top of them. They were out there, even on a good one, they were out there a little ways. The good ones, you could catch up to pretty good, the runners you had to chase them a ways.
[Kaitlin] Gotcha, and what about heeling in this setup, like kind of talk about the set up for heeling?
[Chase] The barrier was pretty short. I felt like when it’s fresh steers, it’s all on the header. Like last night, they either made it really hard or really easy. Today in the first couple rounds, it was like that. If you got a runner, it was tough. The better horsepower, the better headers were making it a lot easier on the heelers.
[Kaitlin] This podcast is brought to you by Fast Back Ropes. What rope were you using today, and why?
[Clay] I used the Cobalt today. I’ve just been using it jackpotting, I feel pretty good. Fast, that rope’s pretty tough because it took a beating today. I might be done now, you face that hard that many times. I put some kinks in it. It’s a good rope, I’ve been using it kind of all winter at the jackpots and some of the rodeos. The core is the way of the future, right? That they’re making, pretty so I’ve been using it.
[Kaitlin] You guys don’t typically enter together. What made you guys want to enter here?
[Clay] Well I rope with him sometimes. I usually rope with Jade, as a second partner, and he wasn’t coming and I was kind of waiting on San Antonio and then both of us didn’t do any good. I called him to rope, he didn’t call me. He acts like I never call him or ask him, but I called him to rope so, or text him, that’s how we do it nowadays. So I try to rope with him as much as I can. Actually, we did pretty good. We had a lot of good things started at these ropings and never got through one. It was kind of starting to piss me off honestly.
[Clay] Last night was my fault. We should have won the roping last night, and I roped the 3rd one down, which I didn’t really think I was gonna. Then we came back like 5th, probably could have won 2nd, and I lost my rope. I wasn’t even mad, but I was like “I didn’t come here to win 4th,”. The steer just kinda run my reach and I just bobbled my slack and lost my rope. Then we were doing decent at roping the other night and he missed. You know what, though? We won the right one. So a lot of winning is winning the right one for the week, and we did do that. We’ve done decent at some jackpots we’ve roped at together. He’s been heeling good and nowadays, it’s a 2 man deal. Back in the day, Speed got a lot of credit for throwing fast, but Rich caught two feet every single time. The only difference nowadays is that both guys have got to go faster. You won’t win nothing if you both just go for the catch. We drew good today, but I thought we made good runs, and that’s what it takes to win these big ropings. Guys were on the chase the whole time, the other teams that were right behind us were pretty good too.
[Kaitlin] And you were one of those other teams that were right behind you.
[Clay] Yeah, I didn’t draw as good for Jake, but Jake wanted to whoop it down there, he likes to do it. Me and him could have went faster, too. Sometimes when you get way out in the lead it’s like “Don’t be dumb, break the barrier, run all the way to him. This is easy if we don’t,”. So that was part of it. We could have went faster, but we went fast enough.
[Kaitlin]I was gonna say, you guys
[Clay] We went fast enough (inaudible). I about messed it up, but sometimes at this big money, I wasn’t gonna break the barrier, the steer kind of went out and went left, I wasn’t gonna take a bad shot and won second, he would have been fine with it and I would have been fine with it. I’m glad we won it because we were (inaudible).
[Kaitlin] How do you, I always ask this question because I think just mainly for myself because I get nervous in short rounds myself. Going in high call back, how do you kind of just put all of those teams, because every one is on fire in that short round, how do you block out all of those teams before you back in the box?
[Clay] I don’t block them out. I watch, so I know how fast I’ve got to go. I actually do pay attention, I’m not in my own world, because it does matter a lot. If they went fast, I’d have went faster, or tried to. No, I pay attention. That’s the thing about when you get decent and you go to a lot of set ups, if you’re a lower number level roper roping, the only one way to figure it out is you have to enter. Go to some $15 a man’s or $50 a man’s, I know everything’s $150, but there is no substitute for just being in that situation. It’s not that big of a deal, it’s one more steer. But, I have done it. Like jackpotting I used to do so good all the time it felt like. The last few years I haven’t roped as good. Last year I roped good, but I haven’t even done that good. I mean I bear down too. Last night I was angry at myself. Sometimes you have to take a drive to Whataburger by yourself to get right, and come back, and that might have fixed me. I needed it. No one needed to go with me when I went to Whataburger. It needed to be me alone, over there and back. I feel like I got right after that.
[Kaitlin] Gotcha. What about you, Chase?
[Chase] Well heeling, I feel like, is a little different. A lot of it is on the header. I just kind of stuck to myself, and my deal depicts on how fast he turns him. I try to just ride the same corner, set my shot the same every time. That’s what I’ve been doing lately. I feel like a lot of that stuff’s on the header, how fast they turn him. Also, I wouldn’t mess up the night after I miss, (inaudible).
[Kailtyn] Yeah. Chase, what happened, who else were you roping with today, and kind of what happened with those teams?
[Chase] Brenten and we were good. We caught our 1st one, and I slipped a leg on the 2nd one, and the 3rd one, and we were just too long to make the short round. I roped with Jaxson Tucker and we were 21 on 3 and had a pretty slow one that stepped left and he caught the barrier on the 4th one, but we made pretty good runs too.
[Kaitlin] Gotcha. Clay, how is your winter going right now with Jake? You guys just won second here.
[Clay] Oh, rodeoing wise?
[Clay] We’ve been doing not that good. I mean I haven’t roped great. We won Denver, and then we just placed. We’ve placed more than you think, but nowadays it’s about who won what at Ft. Worth and who’s gonna win something at San Antonio, and we didnone of those, so it just feels okay. That’s just how it goes. I don’t really like the way rodeoing is getting with all of that stuff, putting it all at the end. It’s not really good for the sport, but it makes headlines. Overall to me it’ll probably get worse, because it’s all just one steer. I like seeing the best guys win. That’s why, guys that just rodeo, “Rodeo Roper,” guys, I don’t really have respect for them because they’re not that good. If you roped here today, and rodeo rope, then I have respect for you. The good guys that jackpot good and rodeo rope good, those are the best guys. The guys that just rodeo rope, I, that’s taking the easy way out. Jackpot roping is the gangster, and I’ve always said that. That shows you the guys that can rope. Rodeoing, sometimes the worst run wins first place. That’s what I don’t, the worst looking run. The header threw and dallied, and the heeler borderline cross fired. This is good watching.
[Kaitlin] Or they say like, the “one hit wonders,”.
[Clay] Well, I’m not even naming names. It’s just the people that, and I’m saying this because I’m older, I would tell my kids the same thing if I had these conversations. My kids are going to enter and figure it out. Just like Chase used to live with me and when he was younger and was like “What do I do?” I was like, “You need to enter every single jackpot,” and figure it out. That’s all there is to it. I said, “There’s two things that are gonna happen. Either you’re gonna broke doing it, or you’re not gonna do it, and go broke anyways. So you might as well do it,”. That’s just all there is to it. You have to jackpot and, it wouldn’t be fun anyways, than just going to rodeos, driving 8 hours and only running one steer. Jackpotting will, it’ll test your soul. Rodeoing doesn’t really do it. Everybody messes up, it’s easier to win, you get a good steer and win. Yeah, jackpotting can test your soul sometimes, see what you’ve got. I love jackpotting, always have. Maybe someday I’ll put on ropings, who knows.
[Kaitlin] I was gonna say, I was listening to your podcast earlier today when Chelsea asked you what you were gonna do.
[Clay] Well I’ve been around it. My dad does it all the time. I’ve been breaking in steers since I’ve been a little kid. My family, I grew up around it. I don’t know, we’ll see.
[Kaitlin] (Laughing). Chase, how is your winter going with Branton right now?
[Chase] Oh, he’s headed probably as good or better than anybody. I’ve heeled pretty badly. Won a decent bit at Denver, he turned me 3 at San Antonio, I missed every one of them. Well, I got a couple legs, won a little bit. He’s done good for me. It’s turning, that’s all I’ve got to say.
[Kaitlin] Gotcha, well, I will let you guys go down the trail to your next locations. Congratulations and good luck down the road.
[Chase and Clay] Thank you.
[Commercial] Kaitlin, Clay, Chase, great job on this episode. Thank y’all for covering for me while you’re all warm in Arizona and I’m here in the cold in Colorado. Thank you Fast Back Ropes for bringing us this episode. Remember, FastBackRopes.com, make sure you order your Excalibur and your Cobalt, those are the best selling ropes for a reason. You can’t beat them.