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Lifelong Friends Get Biggest Win of Friendship in #8.5 Legends

Some 40 years ago, Hugo, Oklahoma's Jack Hicks and Greg Robertson ran around together in high school. In the following decades, they roped together every chance they got—and all that joint competition experience paid off at the USTRC's #8.5 Legends to the tune of $14,520 for a time of 47.71 seconds.

The duo was high back after three head, and they had plenty of time to capture their fourth steer. Despite some trepidation at the start, Hicks got out clean.

"It wasn't just easy peasy, but it's never easy peasy of course," Hicks, 63, said. "I just had to ride my horse and do the best I could."

"I tuned out everything that was going on and just tried to focus on tangling him up," Robertson, 60, added. "I knew a leg wasn't going to kill us, so we just tried to go make a run."

Their short round time of 15.60 seconds was enough for the win—and a spot at the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale in Las Vegas.

"I hadn't qualified for Vegas and hadn't been able to win any money for one reason or another," Hicks, who rode his 17-year-old heel horse, Dobber, on the head side in Fort Worth, said. "It wasn't for lack of effort. I decided I'd stay home and get ready for winter, and now that we won a spot there, I'm debating. I'd really love to, but I still have priorities I've got to tend to. I'm in a bit of a conundrum."

Hicks' partner, however, is ready to head West.

"I'm entered in the 8.5 already," Robertson, who counts on his gentle, 11-year-old Paint JT to get the feet, said. "I was hoping to get a run with Jack. We'd have to move up a roping, but we haven't gotten any of the information yet. I went two years ago, and we went to Arizona first and had a blast out there, and we're thinking about going back to Wickenburg and doing that and going to Vegas to rope then coming home."

The lifelong friends are both saving for impending retirement, and a win in Las Vegas would certainly put them closer to that goal. Coincidentally, both also have similar careers: Hicks works for the Choctaw Nation as the director of land management, while Robertson is the conservation district manager in Hugo.

Complete results from the USTRC National Finals XXXI presented by Cinch.