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Posted on Oct 20, 2016

2016 Heartland Finales Top One Million!

With the completion of the first ever Heartland #8 in Stephenville, the Heartland Series topped One Million Dollars in payout for the very first time.  If you are keeping count here was how it came about, #8 - $91,200, #9 - $107,000, #10 - #156,800, #11 - $168,000, #12 - $186,400, # 13 - $172,000, #15 – 126,400.

The $91,000 produced by the #8 Heartland took it over that million barrier that has eluded this series in past, needless to say, a great Heartland season!   The #8 qualifiers have been a big success but there were a lot of bets on whether the first ever #8 Heartland, with out the draw option and the higher fees would draw many teams.  Side bets around the office were guessing the first ever would draw as low as 50 teams as high as 100, but most were guessing 75 to 80, so we were obviously very happy to see 114 teams. We don’t expect tremendous growth at the bottom, but with this good start the #8 Heartland should pay over $100,000 next year.   The #8 Las Vegas Finale event looks like it will break all estimates as well and be a huge success!

Congratulations to the first #8 Heartland Champions, Everett Erickson and Alder Seymour from the Panhandle who won $22,650 and the beautiful Gist Buckles and Cactus Saddles!

 It was just an ordinary week, and was going to be an ordinary weekend for both Everett Erickson & Alder Seymore. Little did they know, they were about to win $22,650 in cold hard cash, Gist Silversmith buckles, and Cactus Saddlery Saddles in the #8 Heartland in Stephenville, Texas.  Everett, busy with three kids, never really has a lot of time for his own roping, but had missed the previous roping in Amarillo, and called his partner Alder up to see if he wanted to rope. “He hadn’t even called me until Thursday, so we drove down there and practiced in the #9 pick/draw on Saturday to get ready for the #8 Heartland on Sunday.” They had only been practicing together more steadily for a month, and had only entered a roping together once prior.

Alder was Everett’s son’s baseball coach, and became friends after that. But Alder was in the process of switching ends. “ I prefer to heel, but I didn’t have a good heel horse until a few weeks before the Heartland. I got this horse from Tyler Mangus out of Llano, Texas, and this horse is so nice, he has made my job easy.” But something was in the cards for these two, even from the beginning. Erickson said, “We sure drew great steers, I don’t believe I’ve drew 4 steers that were that good at a roping before. It really came together between me and my partner, my horse was working well, and it just seemed like everything was meant to be that day.”

The last steer can create nerves for some people, but nerves are no problem for these two. Erickson rode rough stock in the past, and “I was down at the other end of the arena a lot, and that’s what helps me deal with the pressure.” Alder has been on the champions stage before as well, as he won 2nd in the #8 consolation in Las Vegas last year. Alder says, “ When I back into the box, my philosophy is to just take it one steer at a time. You have to catch them all to get a check, have to get your job done if you’re going to get paid.” They will both be in Vegas this year, roping in the #10. This will be Everett’s first time at a World Series Finale, and, “I’m excited to go, there are a lot of ways to win your money back.”

Countdown to Finale XI