WESTSTAR RANCH — The third win was quite the charm.

Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill picked up their third win each in the final time the Best of the Best Open roping will take place at the WestStar Ranch. The Repp family will hand over the reins of the lucrative jackpot roping to a group of local ropers who plan to build upon what the Repps have done for two-plus decades.

However, one more jackpot needed a winning team and that went to Tryan and Corkill. It was the second time in three years the duo won the roping together. Corkill won his first jackpot here in 2010 with Wade Wheatley. Tryan teamed up with Patrick Smith to win in 2012.

The Repp family significantly increased the purse in its final year hosting the event. Tryan and Corkill both won $20,000 apiece for the average win.

“This is what makes roping fun, the big money, we just won $20,000 (each),” Tryan said. “It’s hard to make $20,000 in one day of rodeoing. You don’t do it very often. I’ve had a good year jackpotting some other ones and this is one of the best ones of the year. I’m just fortunate to win it.”

While the team wasn’t down and out early on, their steers weren’t putting them at the top of the average.

“We drew the same steer the first and second rounds and it wasn’t very good,” Corkill said. “He ran pretty hard.”

Tryan agreed.

“It wasn’t the one to have. It was a hard set up, tough conditions and so many great ropers,” he said.

After two runs of 8.64 and 8.04, the ropers were in the middle of the pack, behind faster teams like Brandon Beers/Bucky Campbell and Dustin Equsquiza/Jake Long who led after two with a 13.99-second aggregate.

Tryan and Corkill’s third and fourth steers were a bit better, allowing the team two seven-second times, 7.61 and 7-flat to come in third-high call into the 15-man short round.

“Our third one was decent, but we didn’t make a very good run, I had to take another swing,” Jade said of his view as the heeler. “Our fourth steer went left and ran hard and we made a pretty good run on him, we were 7-flat to come back to the short round third.”

TIGHT CONTEST

The short round looked like 15 teams one-upping each other. One team’s total on five set the standard until the next team rewrote the lead, until the next team after that put their names on top.

Marcus Theriot and Shay Carroll’s 43.76 held for a while as the standard to beat, but it was only a matter of time before the top five ropers – some two-plus seconds ahead of the sixth-place ropers – would trade leads.

Ellensburg brothers Riley and Brady Minor — coming in fourth-high call — put together a decent 8.12-second run to hold the lead for a moment with a 39.61 aggregate.

Then it was Tryan and Corkill’s turn and they new they had a shot given what they drew.

“I didn’t know the steer, I knew he looked good, but I hadn’t seen him,” Corkill said.

There was no comparison in their short round steer to their first four attempts.

“The last couple were decent, we made decent runs, but the last one was just as good as you could get,” Tryan said.

Their 5.58-second run was not only the best in the round — for another $1,500 apiece — but also the best on the entire night.

“We didn’t have the lead ever until that steer, but that’s the only time you need it, in the end,” Corkill said.

Their 36.92 on five was going to be tough to beat, but it was beatable, so there wasn’t any relief at that point, especially with two more teams who are very capable.

“The guys behind us can make good runs any time,” Corkill continued. “I knew we took the lead and I was happy because it paid 10,000 a man for third. I knew we would get that guaranteed and maybe better. I don’t ever wish bad luck on anyone it just went our way.”

Riley Minor roped twice in the short round – he was also second call with Patrick Smith – but Minor missed his steer. Beers and Campbell needed a 6.08-second run to win it, but settled for a 7.26 and finished second for $14,000 a man.

Ellensburg’s Minors finished third for $10,000 apiece. The average paid 10 deep.

AMATEURS POCKET PILES OF MONEY

The professional ropers weren’t the only ones who made big money on Wednesday. As the roping has always done, amateur headers and heelers were partnered with their professional counterparts for a chance at a $10,000 first-place payday.

Central Washington University roper Wade Bruemmer partnered with Joseph Harrison and was the cream of the crop among the amateur headers. Bruemmer and Harrison were 21.86-seconds on four runs, more than three seconds better than Ethan Lowe and Corkill.

For the heelers, Bob Stellflug’s professional header was Lane Ivy. Ivy and Stellflug were clearly the best of the bunch, finishing with a 34.87 on four runs, which was four and a half seconds better than Tryan and Colton Wallen.

For the ladies amateur headers, Brianna Votaw, heading for three-time reserve world champion Junior Nogueira, won the ladies bracket with a 29.49 on four, a half a second better than Natalie Thompson/Bucky Campbell.

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