I just love Spring and all of the events and rodeos which of course follow the winter rodeos. Along with PRCA rodeos are many non-sanctioned events that don’t count toward year-end standings but yet pay out life-changing amounts.

One has to wonder who really is having a good year because we generally associate it with the PRCA standings, but that doesn’t mean as much in this day and age because of the event dollars that are available for the contestants. I’m not taking sides against the PRCA but merely want to bring to attention that over the past several years, many great events have risen that pay huge money and yet it is never recorded to the credit of the contestant.

I wish I could come up with a way that would record all money won by contestants throughout the year and somehow have it verified and recorded and have overall awards for most money won at the year-end with a true recognition of one’s accomplishments. This includes santioned, non-sanctioned events, jackpots, etc.

I’ll never forget that when I founded Ropers Sports News, a handful of cowboys came to me and said they didn’t ever want their name printed in my paper with their winnings, in fear of the IRS coming after them. I always laughed at this because I never knew a cowboy in those days (1960’s era), who was making so much money that they had a tax problem.

Over the years, new events have broken away as stand alone and have paid far more than the average rodeo. Recently we had some major rodeos that have also broken away and are paying outstanding prize money. It is the sign of the times and these events do it their way and for the betterment of the contestants and their own venues. 

Already this year we have contestants that have won more money than any topped ranked PRCA contestant. Again, I’m not knocking the PRCA, but bringing out a fact that just because someone isn’t in the standings in the PRCA, doesn’t mean they aren’t having a good year in the rodeo or roping world. 

The PRCA is an organization that is structured for its members under its by-laws and board of directors. It has done what is best for the majority of its members and has served a great purpose over the years. ln today’s world I feel we are not recognizing our true top talent in the arena, because some of these high dollar winners are not even members of the PRCA and never will be. I feel the PRCA serves a purpose and always will, but it is not the sole focus of some of the top contestants.

Unfortunately nowadays, one’s talents in the rodeo or roping world seem to be based around if one has ever won a PRCA world title. I feel we have many who have accomplished more but are not getting recognized for their capabilities. I could go on and on about this subject and will try and come up with a better solution. But until I do, I would like to congratulate all of the contestants who have won huge amounts of money this year already in many of the special events as well as PRCA rodeos. Some have already surpassed the $300,000 mark, and we are only in the first quarter. On the brighter side, I understand that the PRCA has approved some stand-alone steer roping events which is a start in maybe some things to come. Not that they would ever approve some of the stand alone rodeos.

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 In this issue of Ropers Sports News is coverage of these great unsanctioned events and rodeos. The Timed Event Championship was last month and it is always one of my favorites that displays talent in horsemanship and ability in five different events. Trevor Brazile won his record seventh championship this year plus $116,000. The George Strait is in this issue with Clay Tryan and Travis Graves cleaning house and then at the RFD TV-The American, you have Kaleb Driggers and Travis Graves winning $100,000 each. And last but not least, Charly Crawford and Shay Carroll each pocketed $50,000 at RodeoHouston. The month of March has been huge for team ropers and rodeo contestants.

Congrats to all of the Rodeo­Houston winners, especially Charly Crawford and Shay Carrol along with five-time world champion steer wrestler, Luke Branquinho for winning his first RodeoHouston title.

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 I hope to see many of you at the Spring rodeos and ropings out here on the West Coast. Make your plans now to attend the Broc Cresta Memorial Roping in April as well as the Jim Pickens Charity Open Roping  See ads in this issue of RSN for more info about these great events.

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