Tyson Campidilli spent the summer reminding his young friend Cody Brown to save up enough money to enter the World Series Finale.
As it turns out, that was time well spent. The team roped four steers in 31.40 seconds to be the first team of the roping to claim $200,000.
"I got here and didn't have a stall and didn't even bring a rope. I had to buy a Fast Back rope upstairs 30 minutes before the roping started. The guy working the booth asked me if I needed to swing it a few times but I knew it would be good. I didn't even stretch it. I just went out there, took the ties off of it and roped," said heeler Brown, of Oologah, Okla.
In the first round, Brown was late and had to reach "way too far" to make his heel shot.
"We knew we had to rope all of our steers and be aggressive, so I just tried to get out and make it easy for him to catch it. I just tried not to do anything stupid," Vinita, Okla.'s Campidilli said. "The steers were really good and fairly even. And I loved the barrier because it doesn't matter how the steer finishes down a longer alleyway."
Brown, who owns Cody Brown Saddles, won the event aboard Clint Peverley's 16-year-old sorrel gelding Glory, while Campidilli, a fence contractor and rancher, rode his 10-year-old bay gelding Willy.
"I wasn't nervous until about the third call back, and then it really hit me," Campidilli said. "I'd never roped for $100,000 before. There's a lot of things to do with that money. I plan to pay off my house, and that frees up so much more money every month in the budget."
Brown said he'd like to invest some of the money in his saddle shop, pay bills and start to look for another finished heel horse.