GUNNISON, Colo. – Brye Crites and Buddy Hawkins have roped together many times over the years. That happens when team ropers live close to one another.
Now they’re on the rodeo trail together and finding their ways to the pay window. On Friday night, the two stopped the clock in 4.9 seconds to take the team roping lead at the Cattlemen’s Days PRCA Rodeo.
“I had to stay home for a couple of weeks to deal with some family matters,” said Hawkins, a Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier from Columbus, Kan., who had been roping with Lane Ivy of Dublin, Texas, for a couple of years. “It was the toughest time to leave a guy hanging or look for a new partner.
“Brye and I practice together quite a bit. He lives about 50 or 60 miles from me and ropes real good. I asked if he was interested in going, and he was happy to come out here with me. He is a rooking, doing a real good job for me.”
That he is. Not only are they winning in Gunnison, but they are secured a spot in Saturday’s championship round in Casper, Wyo. They will remain partners for another two weeks.
“It’s been a heck of an opportunity,” Crites said. “A lot of guys don’t get this opportunity to know every time you turn a steer, he’s going to catch two feet.”
That’s what happens with a heeler as talented as Hawkins.
“Matt Sherwood and I are going to start roping together in Dodge City, and we plan on roping together indefinitely,” Hawkins said of the two-time world champion from Pima, Ariz.
This was both cowboys’ first time to compete in the Fred Field Western Center in Gunnison.
“This is a super neat facility,” he said. “I’ve been to 44 rodeos this year, and when we got here, they gave us hay and helped us park and were as friendly as they could be. It couldn’t be any better, and they gave us a cash bonus for winning the performance.
“That money will help us get to Casper’s short round tomorrow night.”
It all comes in handy. Hawkins is 21st in the world standings and has hopes of moving up the money list. Sure, returning to the NFR would be great, but he ropes to help make ends meet.
“I like paying bills, with or without the finals.”
Bareback riding leaders: 1. Craig Wisehart, 85 points on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Kicking Feathers; 2. Casey Colletti, 83; 3. Jake Springer, 78.5; 4. Tyler Ferguson, 77; 5. Bryton John Buyert, 70; no other qualified rides.
Steer wrestling: 1. Riley Krassin, 5.2 seconds; 2. Chisum Docheff, 6.4; 3. Miguel Garcia, 14.4; 4. Brian Snell, 15.5; 5. Brady Buum, 20.1; no other qualified runs.
Team roping: 1. Brye Crites/Buddy Hawkins II, 4.9 seconds; 2. Bubba Buckaloo/Tyler Worley, 5.0; 3. Jake Orman/Will Woodfin, 5.2; 4. Kelsey Parchman/Dustin Davis, 5.8; 5. Wyatt Imus/Reno Gonzalez, 5.9; 6. Garrett Tonozzi/Joe Mattern, 7.1.
Saddle bronc riding: 1. Joaquin Real, 81.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Hoppin’ Tom; 2. Trayson Antonick, 78; 3. Parker Kempfer, 75.5; 5. Dean Wadsworth, 73.5; 5. Dalton Davis, 73; 6. Justin Lawrence, 72.
Tie-down roping: 1. Bo Pickett, 10.9 seconds; 2. Ryan Belew, 12.7; 3. Wyatt Imus, 20.1; 4. Reno Gonzaels, 20.6; no other qualified runs.
Barrel racing: 1. Nicole Waggoner, 17.64 seconds; 2. Brittany Fellows, 17.90; 3. Kelley Schnaufer, 17.91; 4. Kelly Yates, 17.98; 5. Chris Gibson, 18.03; 6. Dolli Lautaret, 18.08; 7. Jolee Lautaret-Jordan, 18.17; 8. Ronnie Will, 18.20; 9. MacKenzie Scott, 18,21; 10. Kathryn Hawkins, 18.27.
Bull riding: 1. Jimy Marten, 79.5 points on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo’s Gunsmoke; 2. Eli Vastbinder, 73; no other qualified rides.