Chris Francis: I thought this steer tried pretty good. We just ran down there and caught him and I didn’t take any chances. I wanted him to be really easy to heel for Cade. I’d gone farther than I’d wanted to already. I wanted to get him slowed up so Cade could take a clean, fast shot. That horse, Dude, is really good–Zane Dishion trained him and Kaleb Driggers had him for a while. I’ve had him over a year. He’s just gotten better and better for me. He scores really good. For me, that’s really important because I don’t score really good. I pull on them even if they’re standing there. He picks the steer up so well–he’s the best horse I’ve ever rode when it comes to that.
Cade Passig: When I left there, I wanted to keep him in the left lead for Chris so he wasn’t running to the right. He was running strong, and I wanted good separation. I thought we made an awesome catch run on that steer. There wasn’t any risk, and there could have been.
CF: I didn’t really watch any of the roping, but in the warm up pen I heard some guys say that the littler steers were better, and this one was pretty little. I hoped he was a better one, and it turned out he was pretty good. He wasn’t just loping, but he wasn’t as strong as the first one. It was just a pretty controlled run. All of our runs really were. I got a good start on him, and it just rolled from there.
CP: That steer pushed to the right a little bit. I got higher and tighter than I wanted. Out of the six, that was my least favorite heel loop I threw. The smaller-bodied steers were better. I ended up being able to get to the inside in time. My horse, Doc Holliday, you can’t hardly get him in a bad spot. It doesn’t matter if you’re close or far away. He’ll always get you there, so that made up for it.
CF: I think we were about in the middle of the pack by this point. That steer was pretty good. He was medium. I kind of got him on the gain pretty good and he set up to be heeled good. Everything was pretty fluid. He stayed in the middle of the arena at a good speed. You have to draw good to win that roping. If I could have picked one steer to run all day and run him six times, it would have been that one.
CP: Our third steer was good. He wasn’t that fast, but he was really full. He was really wide-legged. As soon as Chris turned him, he hit the ground pretty fast for a big steer. There was no momentum lost. It was a smooth, solid run for running one that far. When I left the box, I could get a good view of him. I saw he was bigger. I got closer through the turn so I didn’t have to reach out there. I wanted to make sure I got my bottom strand on the ground so I could get my tip all the way across there.
CF: I think by this steer, we were leading it. He stepped to the left, and when I caught up he stepped back to the right. It looked like a good opportunity to wave it off, so I took another swing and just caught. He was stepping to the right then, and it felt like I caught him at a weird spot and lost a little momentum through the turn. Cade had to take another swing and got him around the belly.
CP: I think when I panty-hosed him it might have been our saving grace. There were a lot of opportunities to mess up. That shaved a couple tenths of a second off for us. I felt like I started hazing him and he got in his left lead, and he stepped back to the right into the right lead and I messed him up there. I couldn’t have scooted over a whole lot, so I had to really hold steady. I got close to that steer when he turned. I made sure I threw a big loop there so I’d for sure catch.
CF: That was the same exact steer as we ran in the second round. We knew him and I knew I could get a pretty good start and he’d be right there waiting for us. That steer was really good. I maybe even got a little better start than in the second round. I wanted to be high call because it’s easier to maintain the lead than try and catch up against Bubba Buckaloo, Clay Smith, and Driggers, because if we’d been behind them we’d probably ended up behind them. When I knew the steer, I was comfortable and confident. He had little bitty horns that barely stuck out the end of the wrap. In the second round, I thought about roping him around the neck, but thought if I do that I’d rope a front leg, so I didn’t.
CP: That steer looked familiar. As we rode into the box, Chris said, “Same steer.” And I knew exactly which one he was talking about. I remembered that steer and I set myself up better. I heeled him better the second go. Chris made him so easy to heel right there. Even throwing fast it felt like a high percentage shot. We finished fast.
CF: I didn’t know this steer. It’s crazy–I break in steers and sort steers and flag all day for a living–but we joke about it that I can run a steer and not recognize him two minutes later. I really wasn’t trying to get him around the neck, but I had too much on it. He was stepping left and I needed to push up a step and I got in a hurry there probably. and I splattered him right there. I was happy with my scoring and roping all day except in the short round. Watching the video, from one angle it looks terrible and one angle it looks all right. I was glad that Cade was back there because I might have screwed a lesser guy.
CP: I was definitely ready to run him. I wish I could have fast forwarded time because we were at the beginning of the fifth round and the end of the short round. As soon as I left the box, I heard Ferron (Lucero) say we had to be 7.16 and I don’t hardly ever hear the announcer. I was just going to make the same run we were making all day and if we were 7.2 and won second, that’s okay. I kind of saw out of the corner of my eye that Chris had him around the neck, and he hit pretty hard right there. That horse reads it better than I do. He kept peddling forward so I was still moving forward enough that I could get my loop down there. I hung my hand on the front of my horn, but I got my dally. I didn’t feel like it was getting away from me, but I hung up for a second.