It was a busy month with big paying rodeos including The American, RodeoHouston and the Cinch Timed Event Championships held at the famed Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla. Congratulations to all of the big money winners at the winter ropings and rodeos.

This year’s CTEC roster was without a few names of norm on the daysheet due to injuries or personal reasons. Some of this year’s contestants weren’t notified until a few days prior to the event. Brent Lewis was the last one to be notified and made a good showing on such a short notice.
Last year’s champion, Jordan Ketscher started off great by winning the first round and was doing good up until the third round in the steer wrestling where he injured his knee. He was sitting third overall, but when he got off to tie his tripping steer he further hurt his knee. A torn ACL kept him from competing the rest of the event. Last year saw Erich Rogers and Clay Smith both receive drawout injuries suffered in steer wrestling. Both were able to get back on the road and compete strong. Clay Smith went on to win the world in the team roping heading.
The Timed Event has always been one of my personal favorite events for many years and this year seemed to really stand out with bigger and stronger cattle. Waycross, Georgia cowboy Justin Thigpen was a newcomer this year to the CTEC, but not to four of the five events he competed in. He has won over 19 world titles in the IPRA. Steer roping was the only event he had never competed in and when he got the call that a spot had opened up due to drawouts, he quickly made his way to Oklahoma to get tuned up for the great event. He obviously was a quick learner and never took a time longer than a 29.3 (second round) in the steer roping. He proved with each run that he belonged at the CTEC alongside 19 other great timed event cowboys. He actually had helper penalties that added to his total time more than once. His team roping helper, Spencer Mitchell, had to build up more than ever at the CTEC. This is not Spencer’s usual at this event as he has helped many times in the past. But when it was all said and done, Justin went home with $107,000 from placing in three rounds and winning the average on 25 head of livestock.
The legendary K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyo. took home the reserve title after a very impressive performance as well as showing no signs of aging when it comes to this event. I’m sure he will be back next year.
When I mentioned Thigpen had helper trouble during the three days of competition, I remember discussing the Heading and Heeling after the very first CTEC. I have always had concerns about judging a contestant’s heading or heeling when he sometimes would take a 60 second in an event that he never missed in. In other words, if he roped his steer in the Heading and his heeler missed two heel shots, he would be given a 60-second time for the no time. To me, he didn’t miss in the Heading. Same thing in the Heeling competition. A helper comes out and misses two head shots and you take a 60 and never threw your rope.
After the first CTEC, I suggested they should have Steer Stopping to judge a man’s Heading, and in the Heeling I suggested that the rope be put on a steer in the chute and the header could turn him to a designated spot in the arena for the contestant to show his heeling ability. This way if he missed he did it on his own.
After giving this much thought after this years competition, I have come up with  another way it could be done and that is, if you fail to qualify on a steer due to your partner missing, then you would only receive a 30-second time instead of a 60. If the contestant missed, it would be a 60. I know this would affect the record books, but I feel it would be a better judge of the contestants entered. There is no greater pressure than on the helpers in this prestigious event. This is just a thought and I would love to hear from some of you on this subject. Send me an opinion at bob@ropers­
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In the first Ropers Sports News back in 1968, the Riverside Rancheros, Riverside, Calif., had an ad for their ten steer average for $118 per man that was to be held January 24th-26th, 1969. In the old days, they also had a 5 calf average for $80 plus a GRA barrel race for $20, all tied in with the big roping. It was always a fun time and the weather was always welcome to most of us up north. Not that it wouldn’t rain once in a while, and that could turn their old uncovered arena into a raging river. John Miller and Jerold Camarillo won the 10 steer with a time of 156.6. They won $1,583 for the average. This was one of the bigger ropings in the day.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Riverside Rancheros establishment and they will be celebrating by having an 8 steer average in memory of the late Donnie Tavaglione, who was the son of Louis Tavaglione, one of the founders of the prestigious Riverside Rancheros back in 1960. Check out their ads in this issue on pages 14 and 15. Thanks to all who made this great place historic over the years and for the full history of this great institution, you can go to the their website.
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Was sad to hear of the passing of my old partner, New Mexico’s Emitt Mundy. I roped for some time with Emitt and placed with him at many ropings. He was a one-of-a-kind guy and came from an interesting family. He even worked for us here at Ropers Sports News for awhile representing the publication in the Southwest. He could rope either end in the team roping and at one time or another, he worked every event in the rodeo arena. A true all around cowboy. RIP old buddy.


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