Blaine Linaweaver and Jory Levy had been going through a rough patch before pulling into San Angelo in February 2001 to make the first 3.5-second run in team roping.
This article originally ran in Spin To Win Rodeo, our predecessor, in March 2016.
They’d been at Rodeo Austin the night before, and they didn’t have any luck. They checked the leaderboard at San Angelo, and saw just how tough it was going to be. Speed Williams and Rich
Skelton had tied the world record at 3.7 the day before, and the quick setup made for a Texas-style gun slinging.
“Blaine said, ‘We are going to break the world record tomorrow night,’” Levy remembered. “And I laughed. Turns out we had to be super duper fast because 4.2 or 4.3 was winning last. We looked at each other and thought ‘You bet!’ We had a good steer, and we went at him.”
“I don’t like to tell that to people because it makes me sound pretty arrogant, and it’s easy to say that after the fact,” Linaweaver said of calling his shot that day. “I don’t think I’ve ever made a more perfect run—from the start to the way Jory heeled him to the way we got faced. It was almost the perfect storm.”
Linaweaver rode a horse he called Chach that he’d bought for $3,500 the year before.
“I broke the World Record on him, I won $140,000 on him, and sold him again for $3,500 the next year,” Linaweaver laughed. “He got to where he ducked so hard, I couldn’t see myself selling him for anything more. The guy that bought him was a number-five header and he rode him until he died. He loved him.”
Levy rode a horse he called Poindexter, who was up in years and had navicular pretty bad at the time.
“He was pretty crippled, but he was so tough,” Levy said. “He stopped so freaking hard. It didn’t bother him one bit.”
That run would do a whole lot more than win them San Angelo.
“The first rodeo we went to that year was Odessa, and we won third,” Linaweaver said. “If we won a check between there and San Angelo, it was an extremely small one—like when you split 8th four ways to win $200. We wound up going into the NFR 12th or 13th, and we won $59,000 to $60,000 at the Finals. San Angelo was one run, and we were going to go home. We made that run, and we kept going. Then we went to our first NFR together.”
And what do two guys do after breaking the world record?
“We drove home,” Linaweaver said. “He lived in Twin Oaks, Okla., and I lived in Leavenworth, Kans. We stopped at Braum’s, had us a burger and a milkshake and toasted our win and drove home.”