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WICKENBURG, AZ – The fourth annual National Team Roping Tour (NTR) National Finals was held March 5-10, 2018, at Rancho Rio Arena in Wickenburg. The six-day event consisted of 18 individual ropings over seven divisions. Nearly 4,000 teams roped in cash and prizes to the tune of $959,590. Prizes included trophy Cactus Saddlery saddles, custom Gist Silversmith buckles and a new Ford truck. Held each year in the Team Roping Capital of the World the NTR National Finals continues to be one of the highest-paying divisional ropings in the industry.

The 2018 edition introduced the all-new #10 and #8 VIP Championships, a #10 All-Girl Championship, #9 Legends Only and a #8 Truck Roping, while still featuring the highly sought after NTR Finale ropings. Winners in the National Finales (#11, #10, #9 and #8) took home extra-fancy trophy saddles and buckles in addition to large cash payouts. Topping the average in the National 9—the highest-paying division of the Finals—were siblings Kenzie and Ketch Kelton of Mayer, Ariz., who pocketed $30,000 after coming tight on four steers in 35.48 seconds. Arizona cowboys John Kuban and Michael Brockett teamed up to rope four steers in 45.71 seconds and take home $30,300 in the National 8 Finale.

Tuscon, Ariz., team roper Santos Martinez, 15, skipped his driver’s education class on March 10, to rope at the inaugural NTR National Finals #8 Truck Roping. After topping the average heeling for Trey Nez and finishing second with Marty Schlumberger he’ll have a new Ford dually truck ready and waiting for him when he turns 16 next year. Martinez and Nez out roped 1,165 teams to top the average and earn their $11,600 paycheck along with trophy buckles.

The NTR National Finals is also home to The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio, which draws spectators and buyers from all over the U.S. and Canada. See story elsewhere in this issue.

The NTR National Finale V will take place in Wickenburg, Ariz., in March 2019. For complete results visit nationalteamroping.com. Results as follows; payoffs are per team:

March 5

#11 NTR Qualifier

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Randy Anderson and Clem McNaney, 8.78, $300.

Average: 1. Jordan Olson and Jace Thorstenson, 34.03, $8,760. 2. Tammy Ellerman and Brit Ellerman, 35.60, $5,820. 3. Rick Montera and Arye Espenscheid, 35.84, $4,620. 4. Cotter Kinghorn and Brit Ellerman, 38.26, $3,400. 5. Tony Holden and Todd Holden, 38.67, $1,700.

#10 NTR Qualifier

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Todd Bishop and Pat Tibbs, 7.99, $300.

Average: 1. Tony Holden and Joe Stricklin, 31.26, $10,880. 2. Todd Hall and Rick Steed, 36.80, $7,240. 3. John Strub and Neil Karlson, 37.26, $5,600. 4. Dallas Morgan and Michael Brockett, 37.58, $3,960. 5. Ray Williams and Dale Woodard, 37.85, $2,960. 6. Lucas Hogue and BJ Palmer, 38.22, $2,300. 

#9 NTR Qualifier

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Malcolm Davis and Steven Larry Williams, 10.21, $300.

Average: 1. Jeff Robb and Jeff Blass, 39.56, $11,540. 2. Kallie Hubbard and Darell Smith, 41.88, $8,080. 3. Stephen Yellowtail and Jesse Drisill, 43.10, $6,140. 4. Gary McCurry and Rodney Garber, 44.05, $4,620. 5. Mervin Packineau and Don Charging, 44.50, $3,460. 6. Wallace Townsend and Walt Vermedahl, 46.19, $2,700. 7. DJ Martin and BJ Palmer, 47.35, $1,920.

#8 NTR Qualifier

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Gary McCurry and Simon Tafoya, 13.37, $300.

Average: 1. Dave Yost and Todd Panasuk, 38.76, $11,880. 2. Stephen Yellowtail and Jesse Driskill, 46.73, $8,060. 3. Lynn Stadheim and Amanda Kooiker, 47.57, $6,360. 4. Ray Williams and Mike Miller, 50.89, $4,660. 5. Len Leblanc and Bonnie Matlack, 54.62, $3,400. 7. Don Campbell and Dave Alvarado, 54.81, $2,540. 8. Marty Schlum­berger and Jerry Satterfield, 55.85,$1,700.

March 6

#13 Championships

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Tim Nelson and Chad Turner, 7.40, $300.

Average: 1. Jace Johnson and Trent Tunke, 31.16, $6,940 + buckles. 2. Francisco Martinez and Casey Dunham, 31.36, $5,200. 3. Dan Denmark and Jimmi JoMontera, 31.65, $3,460. 4. Bryton Scheller and Chad Espenscheid, 32.96, $1,740.

#12 Championships

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Colby Bradley and Brodey Serres, 6.59, $300.

Average: 1. Barrie Smith and Brady Black, 32.21, $8,920 + buckles. 2. Mark Jones and Jay Ellerman, 32.80, $5,960. 3. Barrie Smith and Brad Smith, 33.09, $4,700. 4. Colton Martinez and Brooks Dahozy, 33.81, $3,460. 5. Randy Anderson and Brady Black, 33.83, $1,740.

#9 NTR Qualifier

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Mark Thiel and Charlie Johnson, 9.30, $300.

Average: 1. Rhianon Lieberwirth and Arye Espenscheid, 38.49, $10,820. 2. Don Schmeling and Rodney Garber, 39.51, $7,580. 3. Shane Barlow and Blake Nelson, 40.71, $5,760. 4. Wylie Bice and Clayton Torres, 41.01, $4,340. 5. Colton Martinez and Spud Denmark, 44.47, $3,240. 6. Dallas Morgan and Clayton Overson, 45.33, $2,520. 7. Daymond Lloyd and Derek Lloyd, 45.81, $1,800.

#10 NTR Qualifier

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Darwin Watson and Jerry Cobb, 7.87, $300.

Average: 1. Blue Ray Gutierrez and TJ Mercer, 34.65, $10,360. 2. Joel Anderson and Jim Matlack, 35.58, $7,220. 3. Megan Cobb and John Fortkamp, 36.32, $5,340. 4. Steve McDaniel and TJ Mercer, 36.56, $3,760. 5. David Soppe and Harvey Jacobs, 36.82, $2,820. 6. Todd Reinert and Wade Tibbitts, 39.0, $1,880.

March 7

#9 Legends Only

Championships

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Rich Johnson and Danny Cole, 9.28, $300.

Average: 1. Daymond Lloyd and Blake Nelson, 44.25, $11,160 + buckles. 2. Ray Gilbert and Sammy Gilbert, 44.83, $7,760. 3. Dave Yost and Doug Funk, 45.27, $5,740. 4. Jamie Payton and Mike Weatherly, 45.35, $4,040. 5. Ken Lyon and Ernie Jaquez, 45.69, $3,040. 6. David Soppe and Irv Bard, 46.03, $2,040.

National #11 Finale

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Ketch Kelton and Sam Garside, 6.10, $2,000.

Average: 1. James Hutton and Lynn Campbell, 32.78, $27,100 + saddles and buckles. 2. Shane Johnson and Sam Garside, 33.72, $18,060 + buckles. 3. Jamie Payton and Brock Kipp, 34.31, $13,940. 4. Francisco Martinez and TJ Mercer, 35.27, $9,840. 5. Johnathan Lipps and Sterlin English, 36.79, $7,400. 6. Blue Ray Gutierrez and Brock Kipp, 36.82, $5,740.

Round 3 FT: Trevor Alves and Blue Ray Gutierrez, 5.33, $1,000. 

National 11 Finale Consolation: 1. Coby Littlesoldier and Jim Matlack, 22.65, $3,000. 2. Todd Bishop and Tom Hirsig, 23.62, $2,000.

National 10 Finale

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Bryton Scheller and Arye Espenscheid, 7.44, $2,000.

Average: 1. Johnathan Lipps and TJ Mercer, 36.04, $28,640 + saddles and buckles. 2. Skylar Gishie and Karlis Yazzie, 36.43, $19,100 + buckles. 3. Sergio Garcia and Dale Woodard, 38.11, $14,760. 4. Tristan Hall and Tommy Hall, 38.84, $10,420. 5. Bill Jorgenson and Russ Schirado, 38.85, $7,800. 6. Logan Cullen and Michael E. Calmelat, 40.42, $6,080.

Round 3 FT: Fred Ennist and Klay Mangis, 6.26, $1,000.

National 10 Finale Consolation: 1. Kenzie Kelton and Cody Stewart, 24.22, $3,000. 2. Don Schmeling and Russ Schirado, 18.26, $2,000.

#10 VIP Championships

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Fred Ennist and Ketch Kelton, 9.21, $500.

Average: 1. Larae Branham and Joey Martin, 34.35, $14,080. 2. Sam Garside and Ketch Kelton, 36.58, $9,820. 3. Tye Reed and Danny Cole, 39.45, $7,500. 4. Smokey Staal and Rick Steed, 40.16, $5,620. 5. Johnathan Lipps and Arye Espenscheid, 40.34, $4,200. 6. Jose M. Coronado and Clayton Torres, 42.31, $3,260. 7. Michael Brockett and Ronald Beard, 43.38, $2,340.

march 8

National 9 Finale

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: DJ Martin and Blake Nelson, 8.34, $2,000.

Average: 1. Kenzie Kelton and Ketch Kelton, 35.48, $30,000 + saddles and buckles. 2. Dallas Morgan and Clayton Overson, 39.23, $18,000 + buckles. 3. Sandy Suter and Art Gallais, 39.79, $14,600. 4. Steve McDaniel and Jace Thorstenson, 40.30, $12,120. 5. Paje Turner and Arye Espenscheid, 40.48, $11,000. 6. Rhianon Lieberwirth and Arye Espenscheid, 40.96, $9,500. 7. Shane Johnson and Ketch Kelton, 41.35, $8,500. 8. Chris Navarrow and TJ Mercer, 41.83, $7,300. 9. Sondra Williams and Jesse Driskill, 42.54, $6,100. 10. Jim Matlack and Bonnie Matlack, 42.86, $4,800.

Round 3 FT: Brady Denmark and Spud Denmark, 6.54, $1,000.

National 9 Consolation: 1. Kenzie Kelton and Quirt Peterson, 25.02, $3,000. 2. Ramon Gomez and Kaine Kittelmann, 27.19, $2,000.

National 8 Finale

Short go, 1st not placing in Ave: Jacky Brown and Denny Finch, 10.05, $1,000.

Average: 1. John Kuban and Michael Brockett, 45.71, $30,300 + saddles and buckles. 2. Larry Rice and Todd Bishop, 46.27, $19,200. 3. Quincy Reeves and Whip Peterson, 46.45, $13,000. 4. Willy Vietor and Dave Bradley, 48.65, $11,100. 5. Ray Williams and Mike Miller, 53.51, $9,100. 6. Julie Ballek and Jesse Driskill, 54.48, $8,080. 7. Krista Baker and Steve Taylor, 54.73, $6,060.  8. Julie Ballek and Nathan Brown, 55.00, $4,040.

Round 3 FT: Chance Kipp and Tyke Kipp, 6.29, $500.

National 8 Consolation: 1. Ken Lyon and Tombo Kaufman, 25.59, $3,000. 2. Kenzie Kelton and Quirt Peterson, 25.72, $2,000.

March 9

#8 VIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

Short go: 1. Malcolm Davis and Jody Crane, 10.88, $500.

Average: 1. Kaprina Jones and Cass Slover, 38.92, $14,520. 2. DJ Martin and Clayton Overson, 40.05, $10,160. 3. Hubert Heart and Clayton Overson, 40.39, $7,740. 4. Whip Peterson and Quirt Peterson, 42.64, $5,800. 5. Cliff Wixson and Layton Belcher, 43.13, $4,340. 6. Sergio Garcia and Kim Williamson, 49.56, $3,400. 7. Rohn Alder and Todd Bishop, 50.18, $2,400.

#7 Championships

Average (1st-5th also won saddles): 1. Hubert Heart and Bill Eckroth, 34.29, $5,700. 2. Ken Huseman and Dennis Hengel, 35.01, $3,600. 3. Billy Barnett and Brian Raper, 35.17, $2,860. 4. Everett Reeves and Gary Olson, 35.41, $2,380. 5. Mike Wolf and Jody Huff, 35.57, $2,190. 6. Rudy Mendiola and Aquilla Martinez, 35.87, $1,900. 7. Ken Huseman and Jody Huff, 37.25, $1,600. 8. Ray Lafromboise and Orrin Nelson, 38.13, $1,400. 9. Billy Del Irvine and Dennis Hengel, 38.33, $1,200. 10. Ryan McBride and Tom Krupinski, 39.66, $1,000.

March 10

All-Girl Championships

Average: 1. Michelle Thomas and Amanda Kooiker, 44.21, $3,500 + buckles and jackets. 2. Larae Branham and Sammy Gilbert, 44.67, $2,620. 3. Kaprina Jones and Kim Williamson, 47.25, $1,760. 4. Darcie Stewart and Kim Williamson, 47.77, $880.

#8 Truck Roping

Truck winner: Santos Martinez

Short go FT: Efrain Marquez Jr and Don Charging, 7.71, saddles.

Average: 1. Trey Nez and Santos Martinez, 25.71, $11,600. 2. Marty Schlumberger and Santos Martinez, 27.17, $7,200. 3. Ivan Jorge Chavez and Adaj Quezada Jr, 28.12, $5,780. 4. DJ Martin and Cashton Weidenbener, 28.14, $4,820. 5. John Kuban and Octavio Vega, 28.67, $4,340. 6. Manuel Huerta and Tyler Pennington, 28.81, $3,900. 7. Efrain Marquez Jr. and Don Charging, 28.89, $3,370. 8. Lee Keams and Diego Villareal, 28.94, $2,890. 9. Bailey Bates and Brad Moreno, 29.24, $2,410. 10. Tate Eck and Ram Hughes, 29.25, $1,900.