Wow, what a spring it has been for team roping and other rodeo events. Contestants and fans have had a great two months to compete or watch some of the best in the arenas across the USA. From the winter rodeos to all of the ropings in Arizona it has been a busy season in what used to be kind of a slack time in the industry.
The Wildfire Roping was great again this year as well as the Mike Cervi Memorial, the George Strait, the Timed Event Championships, The American Rodeo, and Rodeo Houston, just to name a few which attracted many of the biggest names in rodeo. Note I said rodeo and not Pro Rodeo. I know that the PRCA has a problem with these other events, because they aren’t sanctioned by the PRCA. Well, times do change and it seems that there are as many events outside of the PRCA to make money at these days than in the past. I am not taking sides on this but am aware of the fact that the rodeo trail is not for everyone and in this day and age it is very costly to go up and down the road to just rodeo. A jackpot on the other hand is just as costly, but a person who likes to rope can at least stay in one location and rope a number of steers or calves and have more ways to win than at the rodeos.
The roughstock rider does not have as much invested as a timed event cowboy or cowgirl. They don’t even have to own a vehicle to get around from place to place and can always seem to find a ride or room with friends. Some of their events have also broken away from traditional rodeo and have been very successful. bull riding is probably the most stand alone event that has drawn a huge following over the past 20 years.
Team roping is another event along with barrel racing that has created many other places to compete at other than the PRCA Rodeos and still get paid a huge sum of money for their skills. I hope someday that these contestants will be able to count their winnings from these events as well as rodeos to determine who the great champions are. Some of today’s champions win so much outside of the PRCA arena and aren’t able to count it as money earned. I envision having a point system where if you won a certain competition, it would be worth so many points designated by the degree of difficulty and they would apply towards a title. Not count the money, but points based on the amount won and the amount added at the event. This is a whole other concept and I will try and get some thought going in this direction in the next couple of months.
I just think it is sad that so much money is being won outside of the PRCA arena and the winnings and titles don’t count for some kind of ultimate prize.
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Arizona has been overflowing with record numbers of teams at most all of the winter ropings. It amazes me that a roper can rope seven days a week and in some cases 24 hours a day. The roping business is good and seems to be going to continue in that same direction despite the high cost of roping today. I can’t really name one thing in our industry that has gone down in cost in the past couple of years except for a slight break in fuel prices now and then.
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Very excited that the Wrangler National Finals will be returning to Las Vegas and will be paying out a whole lot more money to the top 15 contestants in each event starting in 2015. My Resistol is off to the brass at the PRCA as well as Las Vegas Events that made this happen. What “has been in Vegas, shall stay in Vegas.” You folks made a lot of seasoned fans very happy by staying in Vegas, and we thank you.
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The Bob Feist Invitational is just around the corner and it is time for you to make your plans to attend this year’s event on June 23rd in Reno, Nev. Give the Silver Legacy a call today to save your room at 1-800-687-7733. Be sure and ask for the BFI early special rate.
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All of the spring rodeos are up and running on the west coast and so far it looks like they will be dry, unfortunately, with most of California still in a very serious drought. We have had enough rain to green things up, but are way behind the normal rainfall. Ropers and roping fans will be able to catch the action at the Broc Cresta Memorial Roping April 12th in Cottonwood, Calif. (see ad on page 17 of this issue for details). Also, the James Pickens Foundation Open Roping will be held on April 22nd in Lebec, Calif. (see page 3 of this issue for details).
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