Oklahoma's Gary Johnson's Hayes Heller Benefit Buckle.

Though Gary Johnson recently won the #11.5 Businessman’s Roping at the Wildfire XXI in Hamilton, Texas, Johnson has not yet swapped out his 2014 Hayes Heller Benefit NRS Champion Header buckle.

“Me and a real good friend of mine, Jay, won those buckles together,” explained Johnson, who works for 3S Services. “Heath Heller had a boy that went to get shots before going to school. I think he was about 4 at the time. He got those shots and they made him real sick. He still to this day hasn’t gotten over it. They had a benefit roping for him over there at NRS, and it was a pretty good deal. They had like 900 teams show up. They’re really good people.”

Johnson and his partner agreed after the roping to keep those buckles on the ends of their belts forever.

“I don’t remember what callback we were—maybe first or second callback,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to make a good run. We were 8 in the short round. We were just running and getting in our spot.”

Johnson was on a head horse that he has had for many years, who, at the time, was 18 years old.

“I still have him,” Johnson said. “He’s 23 now. I’ve had him for several years.”

Is there another buckle that could replace this meaningful win on Johnson’s belt?

“I don’t think so,” Johnson said. “I’ve worn one a few times that I won with Trevor Brazile in a ProAm deal. That buckle means as much to me as anything because of who I won it with, but I don’t ever plan on changing out of this buckle.” 

Related