It is nice to see many events returning to our world of competition. Some having no restrictions and others following local guidelines. It has been announced that this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo will have a mask requirement policy in place. The same mandate will apply in most casinos plus public transportation along with the Cowboy Channel Cowboy Christmas at the Las Vegas Convention Center. See page 40 for more details.
The past few months have hosted many year-end finals in the team roping, breakaway roping and barrel racing. It was good to see so many events having huge turnouts. Congratulations to the year-end champions and to the many qualifiers who will compete in Las Vegas in December. The South Point Hotel and Casino will again host the World Series Ropings offering record breaking payouts during the week of the WNFR. The Priefert Arena will be filled with talented ropers from all over the world competing for a piece of the big money offered at these finals. Best of luck to all involved from the producers to the competitors.
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In this issue, Lane Karney has once again done an amazing job interviewing some of this year’s team roping contestants. See page 3 for his story.
In October many of us were lucky enough to attend Lane and Jane Karney’s wedding in the beautiful Creston area of mid-state California. It was a huge and memorable event with many friends there to wish the newlyweds congratulations on their new venture in life.
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I recently attended a Celebration of Life for Scott Martin of Sonoita, Ariz. The celebration was held at the ranch headquarters on the Rain Valley Ranch in Southeastern Arizona. Hundreds of friends came to celebrate Scott’s very memorable life, a real ranch style send off. It was a gathering of rodeo, ranch and loyal friends that Scott had befriended over the years. Anyone who ever knew Scott knew he was a gentle giant. He always looked forward to going to the Salinas California Rodeo each year as he loved the challenge of the big arena. It was great to see many friends of the past that I rodeoed with back in the day, as well as to tell all the rerun stories of the good ol’ days. Scott was born January 16, 1955 and left us on September 18, 2021, after being bucked off at his home ranch arena.
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While in Arizona for Scott Martin’s service, I was lucky enough to stay with my old team roping partner, J.B. Getzwiller in Gila Bend. J.B. and I had fun reliving many old stories about his folks’ old ranch in Casa Grande. Thanks to J.B. and his wife Teresa who are always great hosts. J.B. and I hooked up with George Aros and his wife Tracy for the ride to Scott Martin’s Celebration of Life. Man, were there some reruns told on that trip and many of them included the late Scott Martin. The three of them had traveled together for many years and when J.B. was working in the movie business. He had shot many scenes on or near the Sonoita area.
After leaving the service, we stopped by Steve Getzwiller’s Nezhoni Ranch Gallery in Sonoita and got to see one of the best Navajo rug displays I have ever seen. Art beyond description was displayed throughout this outstanding gallery. If you are ever in that area make an appointment for a showing.
The next day I had the privilege of announcing the high teams at George’s arena in Picacho, Ariz. George has a variety of ropings all week long and on Sundays he has a special roping before his regular ropings. This was the weekend for the RT Heredia Memorial Team Roping #9.5 Over 50 Roping. Sanna Boan is the lady at the microphone and controls the ropings in first class style. She was gracious enough to turn the microphone over to me during the short round where the top 20 teams got to come back in this three header. My hero, Fred Coffinger, got three calls in the top 20 and came back in ninth with Roger Verquer and made an 8 flat run giving them a total on three of 32.0 good enough for fourth in the average. Third in the average was won by Rick Hall, Sr. and Johnny Gomez with a time of 31.70. Don Lorow and Robert Cartright won second with a 30.23 total. Bob Pledge and Fred Coffinger came back in third and went out on their third steer which brought up John R VanWinkle and Lori M. Parker who also went out. This left the final team of Bruce Teague and Fred Coffinger coming back in the short go with a time of 16.96 on two. They roped their last steer in 8.97 for a total of 25.88 on three and the win. It was great to see many of the older ropers in that area come and have a fun morning roping at a nice facility.
It was nice to meet Paul Pike also at the Picacho Arena. Paul and his wife winter there. Paul is a custom builder in the Gunnison, Colo. area and an avid hunting and fishing enthusiast so we had fun exchanging stories. Paul also got a couple of call-backs in the top 20 teams.
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I will finish out November with the Hall of Fame inductions in Oklahoma City where many of our rodeo greats will be inducted. This past month it was fun to have attended the Idaho Rodeo Hall of Fame inductions where Scott Kesl was inducted along with a memorable group. Scott was a former WNFR Bull Rider and stayed at the Feist Ranch in Lodi, Calif. for many years while rodeoing in California and attending Hartnell College in Salinas. Scott also was the arena director for the BFI for many years. A grand time was had by all over the three-day event.
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Look forward to seeing everyone at the South Point Equestrian Center during the WNFR. It will be nice to see everyone in Vegas and really nice to be back in our old seats during the WNFR.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!!!