Paden Bray’s $100K Heel Shot
Paden Bray's step-by-step breakdown on how he survived RFD-TV's The American Top 4 Round with Erich Rogers.


Top 4 Round at RFD-TV’s The American at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas


Paden Bray is currently the No. 1 heeler in the PRCA world standings with $71,288.82 in season earnings. Kaitlin Gustave Photo

5.05-second run


Won RFD-TV’s The American worth $100,000 each, with $50,000 each counting towards the PRCA World Standings 

Listen: The Short Score: Winning RFD-TV’s The American with Paden Bray

a) Mental Approach:

That was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my whole life. The scenario was Jade Corkill got a leg, Derrick Begay’s steer went down, so he and Sherwood were 7. Luke and Thorp pretty much just went and caught and were 6.3. They basically said if you want to win it you just have to have a clean catch. That’s the worst situation I think possible. I would rather have to go be 5-flat than just go have to catch. I just tried not to change anything and tried to literally block everything out and just go do my job. I just had to relax and let Erich dictate how fast we were going to be, and my job wasn’t just to catch, but to literally do everything the same and finish.

Read: Rogers and Bray Flawless in $100,000 RFD-TV’s The American Win

b) Steer:

Charly Crawford and Billie Jack Saebens had that steer in the long round, and he was just medium and really straight. Erich made that steer amazing. Charly might have missed the barrier just a touch and kind of had to rope on the gain a little bit. He looked way better for us and I think that is because Erich got a little better roll at him. When he left the gate, Erich was on top of him, already dialed in. It just made the steer that much better because Erich got it on him and blitzed the barrier. He went from medium good to medium great.

c) Loop:

I call that heeling the steer at the high of the jump. My loop is high above the hock and it’s really even at both sides. The top strand and the tip, on that steer, shot all the way through. It was placed at time with the high of the jump. The loop hit the feet and it really broke over the right leg great and the tip came all the way through, and it finished amazing. It was fast, but it was really open and big.

d) Right Hand:

The hand is down and it’s reaching for the slack but I like how it was turned over and I’m already grabbing it. It shows you how long I held on to my rope. When you deliver, you let go of the bottom strand and you kind of keep your top strand on your fingertips with your thumb wrapped around it. I love how my hand is down, it’s open and it’s soft. It’s about to grab and pull my slack. You can really tell that I delivered it soft and now I’m turning it over about to pull my slack.

e) Left Hand:

When I help people rope, I preach about keeping your left arm in a seven. What that does is it keeps your left hand in a position that keeps your horse soft down the arena, but it keeps your shoulders and your upper body open. It’s keeping my shoulders really square and there’s actually slack in my reins. Everything is really open, soft and controlled.

Read: Paden Bray: Roping, Horsepower and Lessons Learned 

f) Body Position:

I love this picture. I’m right in the middle of my saddle and I’m pushed up to the front. I love how my right shoulder is in front of my left shoulder. My right leg is square and I’m up in my saddle, but I’m about to pull my slack. I love how balanced and how strong my core is in that position. If you were to walk up to me right there, you couldn’t get me out of that body posture. I’m square and my right shoulder is forward to the front and that’s what let my rope finish like that.

g) Feet:

It all goes hand in hand. I really have weight at the bottom of my stirrups, I’m really sitting down and I’m riding the stop. I’m really square and up to the front. That’s what is helping Slider bring his hind end underneath me. From my feet to my body posture, you can almost draw a straight line from my right leg to my right shoulder.

h) Slider:

He looks dialed-in to me. His shoulders are up. His hind end is down. He’s so good and solid. His best attributes are he lets me place him down the arena. I can ride him high. I can ride him low. I can ride him wide. I can ride him tight. He is so forgiving and right here he is so squared up in his stop. He doesn’t have very many buttons, but he lets me catch and he does his job well. He always gives you options and doesn’t limit you to one shot. 

Read: Paden Bray’s Slider Bounces Back After NFR Abscess

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