Sometimes it comes down to getting lucky finding the right partner and it was no exception for Randal Shepherd of Sanger, CA and Lance Johnson of Fallon, NV when it came to their first-time partnership for the Wrangler Reno Championship #9.5 Over 40 presented by YETI.
Shepherd, a retired business partner from a produce wholesale distribution company, is an avid roper at the World Series of Team Roping Qualifiers produced in California by California Shootouts. When asked if Shepherd had competed in the BFI Week ropings previously he shared that he had entered the Perry Di Loreto one year, made the short round as the high team back but unfortunately had a stroke of bad luck and missed the last steer for $100,000… you can’t win them all! He planned on maxing out his entries in the #9.5 Over 40 but had to make new arrangements and luckily ended up entering on-site with Johnson.
The Nevada native Johnson spends the majority of his time “playing in the dirt” running his construction company. While he opted out of the warm up roping in Fallon, he spends as much time as he can roping. Johnson and Shepherd knew each other through a mutual friend but had never roped together before today.
“I just thank God that he (Shepherd) drug them through my loop”, laughed Johnson about their performance today. Shepherd was mounted on his big pretty 18 year-old bay horse for the day that he will also be riding in the #8.5 Over 50 roping to follow. Meanwhile Johnson was mounted on his 9 year-black gelding that he’s owned for the past 1 ½ years.
The new partners came into the short round as the 2nd high call team with plenty of cushion which they needed with Johnson roping a leg on the final steer. Their fans in the crowd let out cheers as everyone at the Reno Sparks Livestock Event Center watched the high back team miss for the $24,000 pay day and secure Shepherd and Johnsons win.
Along with the $12,000 a man payout, Shepherd and Johnson walked off with an impressive plethora of prizes from Gist Silversmiths, Resistol, Best Ever Pads, Cactus Saddlery, and YETI. Both Shepherd and Johnson said they have never won such an extensive lineup of prizes before and were very thankful to all of the sponsors.
To view the full results of the Wrangler Reno Championship #9.5 Over 40 presented by YETI, click here.