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Local Cowboy Strikes at the USTRC Finals

The United States Team Roping Championships held its 30th annual finals in Oklahoma City at the end of October. Team ropers come from all over to test their ability and try for sizable prize money. Shannon O’Bryan and his 16 year-old son, Braxton, headed south with their horses to rope not only in the 2019 Cinch USTRC finals roping, but also some of the side ropings held at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

They met one of Braxton’s partners, Luke Lonnberg, there where they would rope in the #8.5 roping. In the USTRC association, ropers are given a number based on their ability and past placings. Age is not really a factor, but research and interviews are done to determine a roper’s ability level.

O’Bryan and O’Bryan roped in the #9.5, as Shannon is a #5 and Braxton is a #4. They successfully roped 3 steers but were 2 seconds shy of making the short round to get their 4th steer.

However, when Saturday rolled around and Luke (a #4) and Braxton were to rope in the #8.5, things started falling into place. They roped their first steer with a leg penalty, the second run was clean, the third run also carried a leg penalty, but the fourth steer in the short round was their fastest of 8.3 seconds. They roped their four steers in 48.55 seconds and that was good enough for $3950 per man. As they rode out of the arena, they were setting in first place. The short round got super tough and bumped them to 5th but still in the money.

The duo had placed earlier this summer at a roping in Colorado Springs. They had never met each other before Colorado Springs where they drew each other as a partner.

These boys have only roped 7 steers together but have netted $6,000 a piece in their two outings. Needless to say, a new friendship has formed between these two young men and they look forward to roping with each other again in the future. This is the beauty of rodeo.

Bridger Ketcham, the grandson of Lamarite Karen Ketcham, placed in the #9.5 roping and won $6,400. He is the son of Justin and Sabrina Ketcham and they are from Yeso, NM.

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