Call Steven Spielberg, he’s got another movie-like ending to direct.

Brothers Riley and Brady Minor held off nerves and a fiercely competitive short round of ropers to place in the finale and win the team roping average for the first time at their hometown Ellensburg Rodeo.

Neither of their three rounds won much money, but what made the Minors win come to fruition was consistency. The brothers were 5.2 seconds on their first steer for seventh in the round and $620. Their second-round steer was 5.3 seconds, good for a split of seventh place and another $434.

With a 10.5 on two, the duo was third high call, just a tenth of a second behind co-leaders Dustin Egusquiza/Kory Koontz and Matt Sherwood/Blaine Vick.

“Man, this is the coolest win of my career right here,” Riley said. “I said that winning The American was the coolest mainly because it pays 100-grand, but this one for sure is one I’ve wanted to win my entire life.”

Their final round steer of 5.4 seconds put them no worse than third in the average at that point.

And then it was pins and needles time as Egusquiza/Koontz and Sherwood/Vick needed to still back up in the box and nod their heads.

Both teams suffered no times and within seconds the Minor brothers were taking the traditional victory lap for Ellensburg’s champions.

“It probably the toughest conditions I rope in all year,” Brady said. “It’s tough to win any good rodeo, especially at your hometown, everybody’s here watching. It puts a lot of pressure on a guy.”

But the pressure netted $5,911 in winnings.

Despite the no-times of the top two teams, the event certainly had some intensity to it as three teams who roped immediately before the Minor team roped decent steers (including Tyler Wade/Tyler McKnight’s round-winning time of 5.1) to tighten the race for the buckle. The Minors’ 5.4 was good for another $580. Their 15.9 on three runs were two-tenths better than Wade/McKnight.

“The short round actually got really tough right before we roped, and it tightened things up quite a bit,” Brady said. “We didn’t have much cushion to screw around.”

The steer wasn’t screwing around either. It wasn’t flashy, but it did give the team a little bit of unexpected actions.

“He was just a good, medium type of steer,” Riley said. “I was glad to have him drawn, I thought he’d be good for us. He was about like I expected. Just middle of the road.”

Brady agreed, but to a point.

“We thought he’d be a pretty medium type steer, but he gave me just a little bit of a funny hop on the first hop and I had to take just one extra swing over him. I hate to call it luck, but I luckily snuck one in there.”

Luck or not, the brothers now can relax a bit. Their ninth trip together to the National Finals Rodeo was probably already set in stone, but the team wanted one good payday to seal the deal. Roping at home, in an arena they know so well, did that.

“It’s a huge rodeo, it pays good and we had plans to have enough won to just stay home the rest of the year and this should secure our year right here,” Brady said, adding they had a contingency plan to travel into the Southwest and Midwest to end the season.

“We won’t even enter now,” he continued. “We had until Tuesday to get entered and if we didn’t do any good today I was going to put our name down, we’ll go to Lewiston, Puyallup and Pendleton and stay home the rest of the fall.”

Stay home to get ready for the Canadian Finals in November and the NFR in December.

“We saved a couple of rodeos for after Pendleton if we needed them, but obviously now we don’t need them,” Riley said.

What the brothers need to do is plan for Las Vegas as now the team is securely in the top eight in their respective standings and have more than $80,000 won going into this week. They also need to plan on keeping their new Ellensburg Rodeo team roping championship buckles polished.

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