Finale I (2006) Bloomer Trailers #10 Lo-Am Finale Champions
The #10 World Series Finale on December 3rd paid $590,000, with the a first place check of $150,000 going to the team of Kelly Cheatham (Phoenix, AZ) and Lee Cheatham (Laveen, AZ). Unlike the #11 Finale the short-round of the #10 Finale was wide open. A total of thirty eight teams were able to rope three steers. With twenty average checks up for grabs, only nineteen were able to rope the fourth steer. Only four teams in the top ten were able to rope the fourth steer.
The cousin team of Cheatham and Cheatham considered themselves probably the luckiest team in the roping. Kelly and Lee entered the short round with a 7.47, 10.26, and 8.25, before posting a 11.01 to take the win. Lee normally an unshakeable header promptly split the horns on the short round steer and fished for half the arena. He said, “ that was the best fishing trip I have ever been on.” Lee said that the fishing didn’t bother him at all, “it actually put me in autopilot where I didn’t have time to think. He turned him at the back of the arena and I knew we were going to be long, so I just turned and took the throw, which isn’t a bad thing”.
Lee credits his brother with helping him make things work, “ my heel horse of many years fractured his coffin bone and had to be put down. I bought this horse from my brother, Foster. Fortunately, my brother’s rope mare is the mother of this heel horse. We had a lot nickering and noise going on, but my brother stayed close and kept the mare within sight, we made it through his first major event”.
Lee said his reaction was not immediate” When Dustin and Eldon Sandsness missed the high call steer, Kelly got excited and was jumping up and down on his saddle. I’m good friends with the Sandsness’ and felt bad for the father and son team. In fact, it really didn’t hit me until I was on the upper deck waiting for the saddle presentation, then I started shaking a little”.
With such a record breaking start the question that was repeated over and over during the weekend, “what’s next?”. The questions will soon be answered as the 2007 World Series season begins in mid-December in Cave Creek, AZ.