PERRY, Okla. – Three rodeo cowboys roped a chance meeting with Oprah Winfrey after the talk show host's entourage missed a turn and ended up at a small horse ranch outside this northern Oklahoma town.
Cody Leitner and Justus Hyatt were practicing their team-roping skills at a practice arena outside Leitner's home last week when they saw some dark sedans pull into the driveway.
At first, Hyatt said he thought a funeral procession got turned around, but changed his mind when he saw several people exiting the vehicles with cameras.
"I said, 'Cody, you must have won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes," Hyatt said.
Leitner, Hyatt and another roper, Alvin Golay, rode their horses up to the group and saw Winfrey get out of the lead car.
"She was asking us if we were 'real Oklahoma cowboys,' Hyatt said. "I said, 'No, I drive a Ditch Witch for a living, but I do rope and everything.'"
Winfrey was on a cross-country trip taping segments for her talk show to be aired in the fall, said Michelle McIntyre, spokeswoman for Winfrey's production company.
Winfrey's crew was traveling south on Interstate 35, missed a Tulsa exit and decided to take U.S. 64 through Perry instead, Hyatt said.
"It makes you wonder who all comes down that highway through big ol' Perry, Oklahoma," Hyatt said.