For the second straight year, former world champion bull rider Mike White and his wife, Hannah, of DeKalb, Texas, roped their way to a six-figure win in the #12.5 Oil Field Showdown on Monday at Wrangler BFI Week presented by Yeti in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Anchored by the 44th Annual Bob Feist Invitational for professionals on March 14, the five-day event includes eight affiliated amateur ropings and was held because of pandemic restrictions for the second time in Guthrie’s Lazy E Arena.
Last year, the Whites won the #12.5 to split $100,000 cash – the biggest tandem win of their 21-year marriage. On Monday, they roped four steers faster than more than 240 other teams to earn this year’s $130,000 first-place check in the aggregate, plus trophy Cactus saddles, Gist buckles, Yeti coolers, Heel-O-Matic training aids and more.
“I was more nervous last year,” said Mike, 44, who earned nearly $2 million riding bulls – plus the gold buckle and a 2012 PBR Ring of Honor induction – prior to his 2010 retirement from that event. “I put this note on my phone this week that says, ‘Winners have to do more than just win – they have to plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.’”
The couple jumped out and won the first round (for an additional $4,000), which gave them a big cushion as the last team to rope in the finals.
“I’d rather come for you than have all that pressure,” said Hannah. “I actually didn’t like being the high callback team and three seconds ahead. I had fouled up all my runs last weekend and just didn’t want to foul this one up.”
Just two days prior, she had missed every steer for her husband at a World Series roping in Tunica, Mississippi, so she spent Monday’s early-morning hours feverishly roping the dummy. On Monday, she and Mike needed only to catch in 11.49 seconds to win the roping.
“I’m the other way – I appreciate having a cushion, in case we draw a steer like we did in the short round,” said Mike. “It buys us some time, and thank goodness.”
Despite an especially hard-running steer, the duo stopped the clock in 11.35 to beat Vegas odds-makers as repeat champions, delighting their two sons Logan, 16, and Morgan, 9. Hannah said she has experience on those kinds of cattle thanks to her husband’s annual pasture roping, which benefits an organization supporting children with serious illnesses or injuries.
A Louisiana native, Mike trains roping horses and runs cattle when he’s not working as a ringman at regional auctions. He plans to use the new windfall to invest in some rental properties and build a covered arena. He gave a special nod to his sponsor since 2003, FastBack Ropes, for keeping he and Hannah in Ultimate 4 heel ropes and Cobalt head ropes.
Because Mike’s good 6-year-old horse owned by Bryan Caldwell (who entered the couple last year) got hurt two weeks ago, Mike rode a 17-year-old mare also of Caldwell’s to the win, while Hannah was aboard her same roan gelding, Theodore. She nominated the roping to the leaderboard of World Champions Rodeo Alliance, as well.
All events during Wrangler BFI Week are streamed live on www.WranglerNetwork.com.
Complete Results from the #12.5 Oil Field Showdown on March 15:
First Round: 1. Hannah White and Mike White, 6.48 seconds, $4,000; 2. Connor McNenny and Dakota Callicoat, 7.09, $3,000; 3. Mike Woolven and Darrell Tatum, 7.11, $2,500.
Second Round: 1. Luke Miller and Tom Miller, 5.90 seconds, $4,000; 2. Taylor Mitchell and Danny Zuniga, 6.22, $3,000; 3. Heath Crofford and Cody Baker, 6.59.
Short Round (that didn’t place in the average): 1. Clark Holder and Jase Holder, 12.59 seconds, $4,000; 2. Lincoln Lewis and Samuel Luchsinger, 12.76, $3,000; 3. Mel Coleman and Larry Harris, 13.35, $2,500.
Average: 1. Hannah White and Mike White, 34.67 seconds on four steers, $130,000; 2. Dusty Breedlove and Brad Newberry, 34.82, $82,500; 3. Matthew Barnes and Milton Aguilera, 35.53, $60,000; 4. Chris Bradford and Hunter Simoneaux, 35.80, $45,000; 5. Bryce Walker and Chantz Banks, 36.03, $35,000; 6. Granger Insco and Tucker Muskrat, 36.53, $30,000; 7. Brother Campbell and Derrick Davis, 36.94, $25,000; 8. Greg Watson and Danny Watson, 38.42, $19,000; 9. Cody Graham and Chantz Banks, 38.49, $15,000; 10. Hayden Foreman and Chip Gress, 38.97, $12,500; 11. Nathan Walker and Ryan Hood, 39.71, $10,000; 12. Jagr Roden and Cale Pederson, 39.80, $7,500; 13. John Johnson and Wesley Barlow, 39.99, $7,500; 14. Madison Haley and Samson Jackson, 40.00, $7,500; 15. Luis Azua and Ashton Walden, 40.69, $7,500; 16. Kirby Hill and Robert Dean, 41.13, $5,000; 17. Richard Nolen and Ernie Bacon, 41.62, $5,000.
BY JULE MANKIN