• Ropers Battle For Big Payouts

    #10.5 winners at the World Series of Team Roping qualifier "Title Fights" were Billy Pipes and Dale Martin. (C Bar C/Ric Andersen Photography) Click photo for full story...

  • High Selling Horse Moves To California

    Jason Hershberger shows high-selling horse "Streakin Hawaii" to his new owners, John and Jessica Jaureguito of Livermore, Calif. Click photo for full story...

  • WSTR Qualifier in King City

    Caden Clay and Matt Costa won the #14.5 WSTR; Darrick Hoskins and Joey Acevedo, #13.5 winners; and Dakota Haarsager and Steve Simons, #11.5 winners. Click photo for full story.

  • World Champions Crowned at IFR

    Justin Thigpen was not only the IPRA World Champion Tie-Down Roper and Steer Wrestler, he also won the All-Around (Photo by Way Out West Photography) Click photo for full story...


WildFire Pro-Am winners: Pro header Coleman Proctor and Am heeler Gabe Williams; Am header Hali Williams and Pro heeler Jake Long. Gabe and Hali are the children of eight-time PRCA world champion header Speed Williams. – Olie’s Images


By Dru Stewart
Special to Ropers Sports News

HAMILTON, TX – The 21st anniversary of one of the greatest ropings in the industry is in the books, held January 31 through February 3. The WildFire XXI broke new ground in 2019 by adding some new additions to an already great lineup of events and paying out over $536,500.  Sticking to the tradition set forth by Billy Pipes and his crew in Salado, the WildFire kicked-off with a sponsors Pro/Am, a steak dinner, open bar, and live band, and continued through the weekend with the Open to the World, an All Ladies roping, and the esteemed #11.5 Businessman’s Roping. Those events are the core of the four-day roping extravaganza, but this year there were some added twists along the way.

   As always, the Wildfire showcased all of the great sponsors and partners of the weekend with the Pro/Am. This exclusive roping is designed for those individuals who partner with the WildFire and their children, family, and friends. Chad Havens, who owns Bridgefield Electric and Precision Hydrovac, has been a long-time partner with the WildFire and could not come rope due to shoulder surgery. He gave his spots to Hali and Gabe Williams, son and daughter of 8-time World Champion header Speedy Williams. Hali ended up winning the heading side with partner Jake Long while Gabe took the heeling honors pulling pipes for Coleman Proctor.
   “I wasn’t even planning on roping in it this year,” said Hali. “Chad just called and said he couldn’t rope this year and told me to take one of his spots. It worked out pretty well.” The two went home with $1,000 apiece and the one-of-a-kind black Cactus Saddlery parade saddles adorned with nearly $7,000 worth of Montana Silversmiths custom silver.
   The Pros, being warmed up from the Pro/Am, tightened back up for the Open to the World which paid out $110,250. Forty-nine of the top teams in the world stuck out six rounds on hard running cattle. The top honors went to Clay Smith and Jake Long with a 39.92 on six to split $30,000 and the WildFire buckles. This was Clay’s third time to win the WildFire and Jake’s second year in a row to take home top honors.
The night rolled on with the first ever Rope Like a Girl Walking Fresh Breakaway Roping. This brand new addition to the WildFire was awesome to watch as the girls battled against 400 weight fresh yearlings over four rounds. Abby Hampton smoked four with a 15.45 on four and won $5,000 plus a buckle, tooled rope can, and a Charlie One Horse hat. The ladies roped for nearly $20,000 and also could opt in to qualify for the 2019 American.
Gunslinger Friday kicked off with another open which Clay Smith won this time heading for Junior Nogueira. The team split $10,000 and walked away with custom tooled Yeti Coolers.
   The #15 six-header was won by Stran Morris and Dustin Searcy, who split $11,000 and the #13 5-header was won by Don Lee and Zach Bocco, who split $10,000. The final roping of the day was for the ladies and it was won by Jackie Crawford and Annette Stahl. The girls won beautiful buckles and split $7,260.
   Saturday was the big daddy – the #11.5 Businessman’s WSTR Super Qualifier. This roping had a total of 341 teams and paid out over $197,000. With 34 chances at cash, the Businessman’s was a catching match for a ton of dough. The winners, Gary and Dustin Johnson, took home $35,000 and trophy Cactus Saddles. The consolation winners, Brad Bottom and Scott Riley, split $5,000 and everyone in the top 20 got a minimum of their fees back.
   Sunday was a #9.5 clone of the #11.5. The WildNine was new this year and extremely successful featuring 126 teams who roped for a total pot of $72,600. The first year champions were a pair of retired bull riders! Ricky Bolin, 4-time NFR qualifier and president of Resistol Hats, turned four great steers for PBR bull rider Markus Mariluch. The roughies won $17,000, new saddles and bragging rights for a year. Chad Cleburn and Wacey Sanders took home the consolation win and their share of $4,000.
   The 2019 WildFire XXI was a huge success, with six one-of-a-kind saddles, 20 Skyline bits, 54 Montana Silversmiths buckles, bits, and knives, and over a half-million in cash. The roping was more than a jackpot and featured off-the-charts hospitality for the sponsors and ropers.
    “It is my goal to put on an event, not just another jackpot.” Dru Stewart says. “The atmosphere at the Circle T is so fun, inviting, and we truly want everyone to walk away talking about how much fun they had, how good the food was, and how they can’t wait to come back next year. We owe a good time to our sponsors and ropers. We couldn’t do any of this without them and our amazing staff.”
    The WildFire XXII is on the books for 2020 and DruStew and the team hopes to see all of you there next year.

Results as follows; payoffs are per team:
Pro-Am
1st go: 1. Hali Williams and Jake Long, 7.15, $500. 2. Josh Johnson and Logan Medlin, 7.17, $300. 3. Cooper Trailor and Ross Ashford, 7.21, $200.
2nd go: 1. Hali Williams and Jake Long, 6.53, $500. 2. Jason Burson and Jake Long, 6.56, $300. 3. Jordan Hunter and Wesley Thorp, 6.74, $200.
Pro Headers/Am Heelers: 1. Coleman Proctor and Gabe Williams, 30.23, $1,000 + saddle. 2. Chad Masters and Jared Stevens, 37.28, $1,500 + buckle. 3. Luke Brown and Darren Watkins, 38.47, $1,000 + Yeti. 4. Shain Sproul and KD Kaigler, 28.15 on 3, $500 + spurs. 5. Clay Tryan and Justin Walker, 31.72 on 3, bits. 6. Chad Masters and Ryan Gift, 32.67 on 3, knives.
Am Headers/Pro Heelers: 1. Hali Williams and Jake Long, 27.56, $2,000 + saddle. 2. Jody O’Brien and Paul Eaves, 31.01, $1,500. 3. Randall Trevino and Jake Long, 33.35, $1,000 + Yeti. 4. Halie Richey and Jade Corkill, 33.4, $500 + spurs. 5. Kaci Myers and Clay Smith, 33.64, bits. 6. Josh Johnson and Logan Medlin, knives.

Open winners Clay Smith (r) and Jake Long, with roping producer Dru Stewart. (Olie's Images)

Open
1st go: 1. Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison, 5.65, $2,500.
Short go: 1. Blake Hughes and Brady Norman, 21.91, $2,500.
Average: 1. Clay Smith and Jake Long, 39.92, $30,000. 2. Casey Tew and Douglas Rich, 41.28, $20,000. 3. Coleman Proctor and Ryan Motes, 41.59, $15,000. 4. Marcus Theriot and Coleby Payne, 46.29, $11,500. 5. Nick Sartain and Austin Rogers, 46.87, $9,750. 6. Chace Thompson and Tyson Thompson, 49.58, $8,000. 7. JR Dees and Cody Cowden, 51.24, $6,000. 8. JB James and Brock Hanson, 52.36, $5,000.


Breakaway champion Abby Hampton, right, receiving her awards from Lari Dee Guy and Dru Stewart. (Olie's Images)

Rope Like A Girl Breakaway
Short go FT: 1. Lari Dee Guy, 3.63, $750. 2. Abby Hampton, 3.68, $500.
Round 1 FT: 1. Rylie Smith, 2.87, $750. 2. Shelby Whitney, 3.3, $500.
Round 2 FT: 1. Kylie Conner, 3.03, $750. 2. JJ Hampton, 3.33, $500.
Round 3 FT: 1. Kelsie Chace, 2.33, $750. 2. Katie Rice, 2.91, $500.
Average: 1. Abby Hampton, 15.45, $5,000. 2. Lari Dee Guy, 16.01, $3,550. 3. Shelby Whitney, 17.43, $2,700. 4. Jordan Jo Fabrizio, 18.45, $2,000. 5. Cadee Williams, 19.3, $950.
American Qualifiers: Average: 1. Cadee Williams, 19.3., $630. 2. Morgan Sparks, 43.94, $420. 3. Allison Danley, 21.79 on 3. 4. Kylie Conner, 6.88 on 2. 5. Willow Nichols, 8.85 on 2.

Gunslinger winners Clay Smith and Junior Nogueira, Dru Stewart presenting their Yeti 110s. (Olie's Images)

Open Gunslinger
Short go: 1. Shain Sproul and Miguel Angel Valenzuela, 4.38, $1,000.
1st go: 1. Coleman Proctor and Jake Long, 4.69, $1,000. 2. Luke Brown and Paul Eaves, 5.18, $500.
2nd go: 1. Dustin Egusquiza and Junior Nogueira, 4.06, $1,000. 2. Kaleb Driggers and Jade Corkill, 4.29, $500.
Average: 1. Clay Smith and Junior Nogueira, 29.33, $10,000. 2. Luke Brown and Cory Petska, 30.47, $6,200. 3. Dustin Egusquiza and Levi Lord, 31.44, $4,100. 4. Lightning Aguilera and Ty Arnold, 32.7, $3,650. 5. Chad Masters and Travis Graves, 33.49, $2,830. 6. Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp, 34.25, $2,100. 7. Chad Masters and Joseph Harrison, 35.81, $1,520.
#15.5
Short go: 1. Josh Love and Shain Sproul, 6.24, knives.
1st go: 1. Eric Owens and Reagan Ward, 6.74, $1,000.
2nd go: 1. Jaxon Tucker and Clay Futrell, 5.61, $1,000.
Average: 1. Stran Morris and Dustin Searcy, 43.67, $11,000. 2. Levi Lord and Logan Moore, 44.81, $7,500. 3. Jaxson Tucker and Dustin Searcy, 47.08, $5,300. 4. Jarett Freeman and Colton Johnson, 47.4, $3,000.
#13.5
Short go: 1. Jayme Marcrum and Wesley Moss, 7.07, $1,000.
1st go: 1. Chase Sandstrom and Logan Moore, 6.18, $1,000. 2. Tyler Cornett and Garrett Nokes, 6.73, $500.
Average: 1. Don Lee and Zack Bocco, 41.5, $10,000. 2. Casey Wetsel and Cole Jackson, 41.6, $6,500. 3. Chase Sandstrom and Kyle Stamps, 41.99, $4,500. 4. Calli Montague and Joel Bach, 43.34, $3,750. 5. Morgan Sparks and Jessen James, 43.39, $2,850. 6. Jeff Todd and Jessen James, 43.4, $2,200. 7. Tyler Cornett and Ty Daniel Haller, 44.04, $1,800.

Ladies Only champions were Jackie Crawford and Annette Stahl. (Olie's Images)

Ladies Only
Short go: 1. Beverly Robbins and Aspyn Dent, 7.24, $500.
Incentive: 1. Tara Hill and Rylie Smith, 32.31, $1,500. 2. Taryn Krantz and Kinley Urbanovsky, 26.29, $1,000. 3. Kaci Myers and Sara Jay, 8.92, $500.
Average: 1. Jackie Crawford and Annette Stahl, 32.13, $7,260. 2. Kayelen Helton and Kelsie Chace, 32.88, $5,060. 3. Hope Thompson and Whitney DeSalvo, 34.53, $3,640. 4. Tara Hill and Rylie Smith, 40.06, $2,640. 5. Jessi Everett and Whitney DeSalvo, 41.6, $1,900. 6. Erica Lozares and Marissa Boisjoli, 43.02, $1,500.
#11.5 Businessman’s
Rotation 1 FT: 1. Dusty Bittle and Will Petrus, 6.54, $2,000. 2. Jerry Darnell and Justin Saulters, 6.59, $1,000. Rotation 2 FTs: 1. Matt Tolbert and Jared Gipson, 6.83, $2,000. 2. Jason Smith and Jim Bynum, 7.09, $1,000. Rotation 2: 1. Ryan Morrow and Shank Stephens, 6.47, $2,000. 2. Jacob Carr and Jared Gipson, 6.48, $1,000. Rotation 2: 1. Tommy Morrison and Tory Morrison, 6.14, $2,000. 2. Mel Smith and Dustin Navarrow, 6.59, $1,000.
Short go FT: 1. Nick Griggs and Josh Love, 14.03, $3,000.
Consolation: 1. Brad Bottom and Scott Riley, 23.02, $5,000. 2. Ryan Morrow and Shank Stephens, 23.59, $4,000. 3. Jimmy Ruiz and Austin Patrick, 23.72, $3,000. 4. Chad Cliburn and Cesar Ornelas, 23.73, $2,000. 5. Bill Stockton and Justin Jenkins, 24.32, $1,000.
Average: 1. Gary Johnson and Dustin Johnson, 32.32, $35,000. 2. John D. Nichols and Robert Dean, 32.99, $26,000. 3. Herman Wheaton and Chantz Banks, 34.17, $19,000. 4. Charles Hale and Greg Cordova, 34.61, $16,000. 5. Robert Dominguez and George McQuain, 35.69, $13,000. 6. Danny L. Massingill and Sonny Pate, 36.69, $10,000. 7. Mel Smith and Dustin J. Navarro, 37.52, $8,500. 8. Mel Smith and Tom Monroe, 37.55, $7,000. 9. Mike Tinnin and Dusty Lout, 37.59, $5,600. 10. Michael Nash and Michael Angell, 37.59, $4,500. 11. Joel Stein and George McQuain, 37.6, $3,000. 12. Ricky Bolin and Sonny Pate, 37.98, $3,000. 13. Regina Blain and Colton Tate, 38.06, $3,000. 14. Jerry Darnell and Justin Saulters, 38.57, $3,000. 15. Jimmy Ruiz and Adrian Trevino, 39.32, $3,000. 16. Jason Smith and Jason Jones, 39.79, $1,500. 17. Casey Lee and Brandon Matchett, 39.85, $1,500. 18. Kirby Hill and Gaylon Riddels, 42.92, $1,500. 19. Robby Cox and Wesley Glover, 43.05, $1,500. 20. Dusty Bittle and Greg Zwernemann, 43.07, $1,500.
Wild #9.5
Rotation 1 FT: Chad Mudd and Blake Dean, 7.57, $1,500.
Rotation 2 FTs: Chad Cliburn and Wacey Sanders, 7.37, $1,500. Mike Booth and Jaxon Booth, 6.95, $1,500. Clay Emmons and Markus Mariluch, 6.62, $1,500.
Short go FT: Mike Booth and Josh Johnson, 8.18, $1,500.
Consolation: 1. Chad Cliburn and Wace Sanders, 27.72, $4,000. 2. Mitch Self and Josh Johnson, 27.79, $3,000. 3. Jeremy Olsen and Sam Stephens, 30.75, $2,000.
Average: 1. Ricky Bolin and Markus Mariluch, 45.1, $17,000. 2. Jaime Garza and Cooper Browne, 47.45, $12,000. 3. Mike Booth and Josh Johnson, 47.89, $9,000. 4. Douglas Lester and Scottie Primeaux, 49.3, $6,600. 5. Dawn Murrell and Shane Larue, 50.44, $4,000. 6. Amber Sohrt and Jimmy Ruiz, 63.75, $3,000. 7. Jose Cuellar and Jimmy Ruiz, 63.75, $2,500. 8. Abel Sena and Brad Grable, 30.87, $2,000.