Sevens Lucky For #11 Shoot-Out Winners
The header for the champions of the October 27th, #11 Shoot-Out at the USTRC National Finals had the perfect first name: Sevens. Turns out that that's just what Sevens Gould and Jack Hollingsworth averaged on five steersseven secondsto win the title at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City.
Gould and Hollingsworth did a pretty good job, considering. Although Gould has been around roping most of his life, he doesn't even own a horse. Hollingsworth does own a horse, but he's a city fellow and has only been roping for about five years. And they had only roped together once in The Eastern Regional Finals in Lexington, Kentucky. They didn't win, but gained enough knowledge about each other to know they could be a team.
None of that seemed to matter, however. When they teamed up and combined their skills, they rode out of the Main Coliseum with the crown, $65,000 and the full complement of prizestrophy gold Gist buckles, Tony Lama full quill ostrich boots and a western print, courtesy of Western Horseman Magazine.
Gould and Hollingsworth came to the #11 Shoot-Out on a Shoot-Out Hollingsworth won with Adam Rose at the Eastern Regionals. He didn't Rope with Rose at the Finals because his classification was adjusted. So, he picked Gould.
Starting fast, Gould, from Somerville, Tennessee, and Hollingsworth, of Fosters, Alabama, stopped the clock on their first run in 7.06 seconds. Moving to the second round, they posted their fastest time of event, a time of 6.22 seconds for a total on two steers of 13.28 seconds.
On rounds three and four, they had times of 7.08 seconds and 7.21 seconds for a total of 27.57 seconds. That put them in the short go at the high call back position, more than three seconds better than Kevin Rion and Luke Sullivan in the second spot.
The top eight teams in the short go put the pressure on the leaders, though. No team put up a team slower than seven seconds and two teams were under seven seconds.
When Rion and Sullivan finished with a run of 7.26 seconds, Gould and Hollingsworth knew they had a big cushion. All they had to do was catch their last steer in less than 10 seconds to claim the crown. Although the final run of 7.74 seconds was their slowest run of the day, it was fast enough. It gave them a total of 35.31 seconds.
Rion and Sullivan collected a paycheck of $34,000 for their efforts, plus trophy Reserve Champion buckles.
Brandon Matchett and Jo Jo Lemond captured third place, finishing with a total time of 37.93 seconds. They won $27,300. Toby Truby and George McQuain, Jr., finished in fourth and went home with $20,500. Barry Berg and Frank Montague rounded out the top five, winning $18,000.
Gould and Hollingsworth said they followed their game plan to capture the title.
"We just went out and roped our roping," Gould said. "If you stick with your game plan and just catch the steers, you may not win but 90 percent of the time you will get a check."
Hollingsworth credited his partner, saying he always gave him a good shot.
"Sevens set them up really good for me," Hollingsworth said," so I could get them caught and get them tight quick."
Both ropers said that riding the right horse has a lot to do with their success. Gould rides his father's horse, a nine-year-old sorrel named Booker. Hollingsworth rides an 11-year-old sorrel he calls Colonel.
"He's 98 percent of my success," Hollingsworth said. "What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in always being honest. He always gives me a chance to win."
Gould grew upon a ranch near Atoka, Oklahoma and attended Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, earning a degree in marketing. While in college, Gould qualified for the College National Finals but didn't compete.
He now works in the packaging industry. He and his wife, Paula, have two children; Sierra, 10; and Shea, 8. He grew up in a roping family; in fact, his brother is Britt Gould, who has qualified for the NFR Finals three times.
Hollingsworth, on the other hand, only began roping about five years ago. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama but visited his grandparents on their farm every weekend.
"I had a horse when I was a kid, but he wasn't much of a horse," Hollingsworth said. "He always bucked me off."
After he got out of football, he looked around for a competitive sport to participate in. He watched a team roping, one thing led to another, he bought a horse and started roping.
He now works training hunting dogs but is in the process of buying a convenience store. He and his wife, Louise, have been married just more than a year and are expecting their first child early next year.
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