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Monday, Feb 21st, 2011

Montana team wins over $50,000 at El Presidente!

Two men from Montana with full-time jobs earned the biggest windfall of their lifetimes at the El Presidente #13 truck roping produced by Yost Events on President’s Day weekend.

Producer Ty Yost had already paid out two trucks on his National All Amateurs Tour this winter, and had heard from some higher-numbered ropers that they’d like a chance at a Ford F-350 dually, too. So, for those #6 through #9 ropers who rarely get the chance to play for so much in cash and prizes, he designed the El Presidente.

The unique roping drew 365 teams despite cool temperatures and torrential rain that forced it to move from Wickenburg to the covered pen at Dunn’s Arena in Litchfield Park, Ariz. Ropers spanning six classification numbers competed up to five times each for a chance at the high-point truck, which was offered in addition to the roping’s cash payout of $42,800.

Josh Anderson and Marc Wilcox of Bozeman, Mont., had only been in Arizona 14 hours when they pulled into Dunn’s Arena. Familiar with Yost Events ropings in Montana, they’d driven all night from a roping in Mesquite, Nev., to make it to the El Presidente.

Josh, a #5 header, and Mark, a #7 heeler, had both entered up but they had only one short-round call -- each other. The high-call team didn’t even watch any of the 50-team short round, preferring to hang out at their trailer some 75 yards away.

Anderson was riding a mare named Sis that his family raised and he trained, while Mark was on his trusty dun gelding -- a former reining horse from the barn of trainer Tim McQuay.

The third call of Colorado’s Shayne O’Hotto and Travis Stewart applied some heat with a 6.73 in the short round, and the Montana boys needed an 8.32 for the win (they’d averaged three runs of seven flat in the first rotation).

Anderson and Wilcox made a business-like run of 8.05 to win the roping by less than three-tenths of a second (28.04 on four head) to land in a tie with each other for the truck.

“I never even thought about the truck,” marveled Josh. “There were a bunch of guys who had three calls in that short round.”

The buddies could have had a rope-off for the new wheels, but instead each took $20,000 in cold, hard cash to add to their first-place average checks of $5,350 apiece.

“We never even had to think about a rope-off,” quipped Marc. “We travel together, so that would have been one long trip home for both guys.”

Josh, 29, works in construction and Mark, 32, is in commercial plumbing and heating. The pair took some vacation to spend a week in Arizona at the urging of their good friend Ed Hawley, who lives in Surprise, Ariz.

“You can’t go anywhere up north and rope against 300 guys for this much money,” said Josh, whose previous biggest wins were $13,000 at the USTRC #12 Shoot-Out in October with Paul Freed and $10,000 at the World Series #13 in December with Marc.