(KTRE) - Two team ropers from East Texas have qualified to compete at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming this weekend.
Team roping is an event that takes years of practice for a competition that lasts only seconds if the riders are prepared and lucky.
Lufkin native Kasen McCall is the header, Wills Point resident Clayton Lowry is the heeler. They’ve team roped together since high school. They’re now college freshmen; Lowry at Panola College, McCall at Stephen F. Austin State University.
“I just like roping, riding horses, messing with cows. I’ve always liked it since I was a little kid," said McCall.
“It’s addicting. Never would have thought it, but it is," Lowry added.
The gamble has paid off, taking them to the College National Finals Rodeo this weekend. More than 400 students from across the U.S., as well as Canada, Brazil, and Australia will be competing in their events.
So, how are these cowboys treating it?
“We have fun. It’s fun," McCall explained. "Me and my partner, we’re not serious until we ride in the box. Until then we’re laughing and cracking jokes.”
“The best college kids will be there you know. It will be tough, but it will be fun," Lowry echoed.
They know the fun ends when the loop doesn’t fall where you want it. All they can do is pack up and head to the next roping down the road. That’s the hardest thing about roping, but never do the two play the blame game.
“Nope. If you do that, your partnership will never work," McCall said.
“I’ll never get mad at him, you know, because I could very well mess up too," Lowry added.
But messing up didn’t get them to this level. They attribute much of their success to their quarter horses, named Trump and Al Pacino. Politics aside, the two have long-term and short-term goals.
“I want to win. We’re not driving 18 hours to lose, I know that," Lowry exclaimed.
“Eventually try to go pro and make it to the national finals rodeo in Las Vegas," McCall said.