Mader-Hayden and Thorp Snag $93,500 Win
He sat by himself, if only for a moment, before the crush of people made their way into the Shoot Out Winner’s Circle. He had sat there before, with one of his other buddies, but this time it was different. He’d just won more than $46,000 and sitting there alone, he seemed a bit stunned.
“But I’m excited,” said Wesley Thorp, grinning. “That was a lot of fun.”
Yes, fun is one way to describe winning the #11 Shoot Out at the Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping being held in Oklahoma City through October 31.
After all, with the nearly $23,000 the high school freshman had already won at the 2010 Cinch USTRC National Fincommunity known for its deep cowboy ranching traditions.
Equally stunned, but definitely more emotional, was his partner Jamie Mader-Hayden of Stephenville, whose tears of happiness spoke of her hard work to reach this level.
“My dad (Craig) and I have been working toward this for years and I’m sort of in shock,” she said as she loosened her cinch. “God has really blessed me so much this week and my family has been so supportive.”
The duo, who knew of each other’s skills but had never roped together before, paired up in the same way many in team roping do; decide to enter and find that someone to rope with with the right number and the earnings to match.
Jamie, who only on Thursday captured the Cruel Girl Championships with partner Jimmi Jo Montera, said she’d take the match with Thorp and like the rest of what makes team roping works, it was the right steer, the right partner and the right time.
The team came into the round as the fourth callback with a time of 24.48 on three, roping in a time of 8.30 to finish out the round with a 32.73 on four. But they still had to sweat out three more teams, whose chance to take it all was a pretty good one. Then the other certainty about team roping came to pass — nothing is for certain and as one after the other failed to make a qualifying run, the team began to realize they were about to win the biggest payout of the week, $93,500.
Mader-Hayden, who sells real estate in Stephenville, was taught to rope by her dad and says that the sport has been a crucial part of keeping her grounded.
“I’m a pretty focused person and team roping helps me to focus on something besides work” she said.
While Mader-Hayden works to balance work, marriage and team roping, it’s school, high school rodeo competition and more roping on tap for Thorp, who says the win is by far the biggest of his short career, but he doesn’t take for granted the skill of others his own age.
“Alot of kids rope just as good as I can,” he said. “I mean it just happened to me, but a lot of my buddies can rope as good or better.”
Thorp has already been in four high school rodeo competitions this second and is currently winning his region, one of the toughest in the country, with partner Chase Thompson.
College will soon be on the horizon for Thorp, who plans to attend Vernon College and then move onto Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
Mader-Hayden in the meantime has, naturally, been checking out the real estate.
“My husband says most people’s wives by clothes,” she said laughing, “and I buy houses and clothes.”
The United States Team Roping Championships is the official home of America’s Cowboy Sport, representing more than 35,000 competitive team ropers across the country. USTRC brings the sport of team roping to the national stage by providing competition with integrity as the trusted source of team roping competition rules and classifications.
For more information and a full schedule of events, go to www.ustrc.com or call 254.968.0002.