LOMETA — E.J. Roberts had nothing better to do Saturday night, so he decided to win some money — sort of.
The Stephenville native roped his calf in 9.59 seconds in tie down roping during the second day of the 12th annual Riata Round up, placing the 9-year pro firmly in the top three. Caldwell’s Westyn Hughes won the event on Day 1 with a time of 8.65 seconds
“My buddy called me today and told me that I needed to come down here and rope with him – so I said why not?” Roberts said. “It feels great to finish well, but really it depends on the calf you get.”
Roberts should know because he drew the proverbial short end of the stick during his last visit to the Riata Round Up. The calf he drew that day wasn’t good and according to Roberts: “I failed big time.”
But for Roberts it’s not all about winning money. For the 29-year-old rodeo pro, just being around the arena is enough. As he says, he’s been around the rodeo his whole life and has participated in every event at one time or another but settled on tie down.
“My dad and granddad roped calves so I was around it a lot and I love it,” he said.
Stephenville is known for its cowboys and rodeo acumen and Roberts is following that rich tradition and does so proudly.
“We have a lot of people come out of Stephenville that can rodeo,” Roberts said. “I’m not sure what it means exactly, but it is kind of special.”
Drew Slade was the only participant in steer wrestling to complete the task and finished with a time of 5.9 seconds. Stephenville’s Jackie Hobbs’ first day time of 3.24 in breakaway roping held true Saturday as no other contestant was able to rope their calf.
Lubbock’s Cody Groves held the lead in saddle bronc with a score of 72. The team roping combination of Shane and Scott Brown finished in 5.91 seconds holding the lead in that event. Jamie Ashford’s first day barrel racing time of 17.902 seconds and Brock native Brody Yeary’s bull riding score of 83 remained in the lead but the second day events weren’t completed before press time.