FORT WORTH—During the Memorial Day weekend, world class ropers saddle up to compete in the traditional Windy Ryon Memorial Roping.
The competition draws dyed-in-the-leather rodeo fans and it is one tough show to win for competitors. It is conducted in a sprawling arena. Ropers are required to give their steer a longer head start. There are days that competitors rope in windy and hot weather.
But during the team roping competition on May 24, not any of that fazed former world champion, Clay Tryan, and his partner, Jake Long, when the open division title was at stake during the final round. The duo entered the final with the lead in the aggregate race and held onto it after turning in a solid time of 7.45 seconds.
Tryan, who is from Lipan, and Long, a Morgan Mill resident who has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas eight times, clinched the open team roping title with a five-run aggregate time of 35.66 seconds at the 46th annual Ryon Roping.
Tryan, who won Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association team roping heading world titles three times (2005 and 2013-14), said he knows he will be tested at the Ryon Roping.
“I think it’s going to be a long day when I come here every time and hopefully it is because that means you’ve made it to the end,” he said. “But you’ve got to earn it.”
In the women’s team roping, Hope Thompson of Abilene and Rylie Smith of Whitsett clinched the title with a four-run aggregate time of 36.01 after turning in an 8.5 in the final round. They each earned $3,750.
Clay Logan of Granbury and Rodie Wilson of Canyon finished No. 1 in the Invitational Knot Tying (a form of team roping). They each pocketed $3,000.
During the Invitational Tie-down Roping competition on May 25, six-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier Timber Moore finished No. 1 in the title race. Moore has lassoed the title for the past four out of five years (2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019).
Moore clinched the title at the 2019 edition with a three-run time of 27.69 seconds after turning in an 8.71 in the final round. He earned $8,700.
Moore said it’s imperative that a competitor draws calves that can help him post good times because the Invitational Roping consists of only three rounds.
“You can’t have a calf kick you,” he said. “You’ve got to get good starts and you have to use every opportunity you have as far as roping really good calves. Luckily, today [May 25], I had three really good ones, made three good runs and got out of here with the win.”
Tough Moore fared well in the 40-man Invitational Roping, he struggled in the match roping on May 25 against defending PRCA world tie-down roping champion Caleb Smidt who is from Bellville.
The match consisted of eight runs. Smith was ahead of Moore, 40.96 to 49.72 seconds, after four runs. Moore turned in a sluggish time of 25.03 in the fifth round and Smidt turned in a 9.81. At that point, Smidt had the lead over Moore, 50.77 to 74.75, and never looked back.
In Round 8, Smidt finished with a 9.81. Moore’s time was 60 seconds because he had a no time.
After eight runs, Smidt edged Moore, 83.71 to 173.34, and received $5,000.
In the women’s break-away roping, Bradi Good of Abilene lassoed the title with an 11.31 on three runs and earned $2,290.
The 2019 Ryon Roping concluded May 26 with steer roping. For the first time, the steer roping was sanctioned by the PRCA and earnings will count toward the steer roping world title race and the PRCA world all-around standings.
Trevor Brazile, a 24-time PRCA world champion, clinched the steer roping title with a four-run time of 53.3 and earned $5,265. Brazile won the final round with a 12.2 on his way to clinching the average title.
It was the third time that Brazile has won the steer roping title at the Ryon Roping, according to long-time announcer Curt Robinson who keeps detailed statistics on the renowned competition. Brazile also won the steer roping title in 1997 and 2018, Robinson said.
In addition to clinching the steer roping title on May 26, Brazile, who is from Decatur, also finished third in the Invitational Tie-down Roping title race on May 25. Brazile earned $3,480 in the tie-down roping competition.
Brazile’s total earnings in steer roping and tie-down roping at the 2019 Windy Ryon Memorial Roping were $8,745.