Wow, another year has passed and another Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This year’s rodeo was awesome in my old eyes and my congratulations to all of the big winners.

Wow, another year has passed and another Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This year’s rodeo was awesome in my old eyes and my congratulations to all of the big winners.
I was most impressed with how the team ropers performed at this year’s Finals with the first round being one of the best I have witnessed in years with only one team dropping out. Every team was able to pick up at least two checks in the high paying go-rounds. Even though no teams roped all 10 head, four teams roped nine of the 10 so all placed high in the average.
A special tip of the Resistol to the team of Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp who won the average with a total time of 43.8 on nine head. They also placed in five rounds winning places one through five in those rounds. I thought this team roped a very good roping and a smart roping which rewarded them with a whopping $161,885 each. Cody ended up number two in the heading world standings with $256,938 and Wesley ended up with a world title with $249,181. Cody was about $12,000 behind the leader, Clay Smith for the world title. This was two in a row for Smith. Clay and partner Jade Corkill placed in five go-rounds but took two no times which hurt them in the average. They ended up sixth with 47.3 on 8 head.
All in all this was one of the best years for team ropers that I can ever remember money- wise. In both the heading and the heeling, the top five earned over $207,000 per man. This, of course, is just their PRCA winnings and does not count for other events entered that are not approved by the PRCA. Many of these same ropers had outstanding years in other arenas outside of the PRCA.
I want to give a special congratulations to Clayton Biglow, my neighbor and long-time friend, who had an outstanding WNFR. He not only won the Bareback Riding world title but picked up some other bonuses along the way. Biglow placed in eight of the 10 go rounds winning four go-rounds solo, splitting 1/2/3 in one round and placing in three other rounds. He also tied his own record of the highest score of 93 which he had established in 2018 on C5 Rodeo Company’s Virgil. This year he turned in another 93 marking on the Northcott Macza’s Stevie Knicks. Clayton also won first in the average with a total time of 886.5 on 10 head. This  beat the previous record which was held by Kaycee Feild of 860.5 on 10 established in 2011. His winnings at the Finals were good enough to win him the Top Gun Award, which is awarded to the contestant winning the most during the WNFR. For this he was awarded a new RAM pickup. He also won a Polaris Ranger to go along with his year-end earnings of $425,843. This cowboy can team rope with the best of them and if he would have entered up he may have been in contention for the All-Around. Maybe next year, it could also put him in contention for the Linderman Award .
Other event winners also had an outstanding year with Sage Kimzey winning his sixth consecutive world title in the Bull Riding. He has a goal to break Donnie Gay’s eight total world titles. He is now tied with Jim Shoulders with six consecutive.
Haven Meged had a great year and Finals while becoming a first-time world champion with year-end earnings of $246,013. He won the average with a time of 85.7 on 10. He also place in five of the 10 go rounds.
This year all of the rough stock year-end earnings exceeded the timed eventers. The risk and longevity of a rough stock rider is something to consider. Maybe they should make more for they no doubt are more exciting to the everyday rodeo audience versus the timed events. Die-hard timed eventers enjoy watching timed events but in the eyes of the once a year rodeo goer, the rough stock thrills them more. On this subject of roughstock versus timed events, the investment factor in a timed event is far greater than roughstock. With high dollar horses, trailers, pickups, plus travel and practice, timed events definitely carry a higher cost of operation and yet pay a lot less. Granted the timed eventers have far more stand-alone events to attend, adding to their income.
I think the main argument that I have with our industry is that timed event people spend far more money to win less and they also contribute far more in spending throughout the industry, consuming many products related to their profession. It has been that way for years and I don’t have an answer for the solution but know that our industry’s future for up-and- coming timed events looks like it will continue to cost more to compete.

My Resistol is also off to the many WSTR Finale participants and producers that ran such a high class event at the South Point Equestrian facilties during the WNFR week. Many ropers left with big paychecks and many just left with dreams of doing better next year. These ropings are run in a very first class manner and each year I am awed at the attention to detail that the producers display. Check out many of the results in this issue of RSN.

This past couple of months we at the office have been saddened by the passing of people in our industry. William (Willy) MacKerracher was the most shocking after he was involved in a traffic accident that eventually proved fatal to him after a long hospital stay. Willy was the son of Buzz and Arlene MacKerracher of Acampo, Calif. When I first started Ropers Sports News back in 1968, Buzz and Arlene opened their small three-room house to me so I could lay out the paper. Arlene became my first employee and would work long hours proofreading the paper. All this time Willy was just a toddler running around the small wood-stove heated house. As time went on he helped his dad with the trailer manufacturing and production of many ropings over the years. Willy followed the lines of his dad in learning how to auctioneer and sold and produced many sales over the years. For some years he also helped with the BFI at the sale plus in the arena duties. His mother worked for me for over 40 years and always wanted the best for her son.
In the past few years Willy had been producing ropings at the long-operated Day Money Acres in Acampo. Willy was preceded in death by his parents, Buzz and Arlene MacKerracher. He is survived by his son Matthew.
An obituary can be found in this issue for that of my long time friend Tom Findlay of the Roseburg, Oregon area. Tom was a real icon around the roping and livestock field for many years. Always a character at any event he was at and was one to always go out of his way to say hello. Tom also produced many ropings over the years.
Johnny Howell passed away last month after many years of battling injuries sustained in a rodeo accident at a young age. He always maintained a very professional appearance through the years and decided many years ago that he wouldn’t be confined to a wheelchair. He fought to walk with the aid of a walker and crutches for many years and sometimes with only a cane. I’ll never forget when he would come to our ranch and stay. My father would always get concerned about him going to our pond on the ranch in his wheelchair. He would get to the edge of the pond, tip over his wheelchair and crawl into the boat and be content fishing for hours. My dad would try to make ramps and things to make it easier for Johnny to get around. Johnny informed us to stop trying to accommodate his condition, he stated that if we could walk somewhere, he could crawl there, and he would. I’m going to miss seeing his smile and talking to him about his prospect bulls that he would raise with his brother James Clark and Joe. RIP my friend. Many fond memories.
Also Tod Cline passed recently and how I remember the Cline family in my early days of rodeo and ropings. My uncle had a ranch in Yerrington, Nev.and had many stories about the Cline family.

The new year will start off with many winter rodeos, ropings plus the annual Cowboy Downhill in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This year’s run will be on January 20, so make your plans now to attend this prestigious annual event.


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