It’s that time of year when the contestants who are on the bubble will be going to every rodeo possible to try and secure a position in the top 15 at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Polaris RANGER in Las Vegas.  

It has been a close race in many of the events for the bottom positions, more so than the top three positions. With the money up for grabs at this year’s WNFR, the world titles could belong to anyone qualifying. Mary Burger of Pauls Valley, Okla., has the largest lead in the Barrel Racing at this writing. She is some $74,000 ahead of the second place lady, Jackie Ganter.

 

Sage Kimzey has a strong lead in the Bull Riding over Joe Frost of Utah. The Steer Wrestling is the closest race with just a few hundred dollars separating Ty Erickson in first over Jason Thomas in second. Tim O’Connell continues his strong lead in the Bareback Riding and Marcos Costa continues to lead the Tie Down Roping by about $13,000 as of this writing. Jacobs Crawley is in command of the Saddle Bronc riding by a comfortable $40,000 lead. In the team roping it will be a close race as Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira continue to lead the heading and heeling but are within a go-round win at the WNFR of being overtaken by three other teams. The team roping will be great watching this year in Vegas.

In the Steer Roping, Rocky Patterson holds the lead by about $13,000. The big news in this event is that Guy Allen is again in the top 15. Allen has not been to the Finals since 2008 and if he makes it this year it will be his 34th qualification. Allen turned 56 in early September.

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The South Point again will be the place to be if you are into team roping, as once again the World Series of Team Roping will be offering huge amounts of money to team ropers from all over the world. This event has turned into a stand alone event during the Finals and the South Point does an excellent job in hosting. 

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Speaking of World Series of Team Roping, the ropings here on the West Coast have been booming with the new ownership bringing on some new sites and ideas to the California area under the direction of Dynamite Productions. Daren Peterson and Kevin Redstrom have been hands-on with the events since the purchase from David S. Brown (thank you to David S. Brown for his great contributions to team roping in California with his California Shoot-Outs vision conceived many years ago). The numbers have been up and some new arenas are being added for next year, plus some changes in the order of the ropings to better meet the demands of the ropers. The California Shootouts are alive and well.

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The ERA rodeos are alive and well and have some new concdepts for 2017 with new guidance in the management team. Randy Bernard has joined forces with the group and has some input for the coming year. Be sure and read the news release in this issue. I have always said that I welcome anything new in the roping and rodeo business that I feel is good for the sport. This group has merit and has been supported by some heavy hitters in the competition field. They have sacrificed a lot to support something they believe in for the future contestants of rodeo and for this, I praise them for their vision of the future. 

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ACTRA will be hosting its National Finals in Reno later this month and will be well attended by ropers from all over the world competing for the year-end titles and money. The host hotels will again be the Silver Legacy and the Circus Circus. Call now for you special rates. Silver Legacy 800-687-8733 and Circus Circus 800-648-5010. The code for the Legacy is ACTRA16 and for the Circus is GACT16. Good luck to all of the finalists. 

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The USTRC will again be going strong in October with its Finals in Oklahoma Oct. 22-30. Cinch is again their major sponsor and the ropings will be hosting some great paybacks. 100% payback in the US Open Championships and 80% paybacks in many of the other ropings. This is always a favorite roping of many ropers and it is always great to go to Oklahoma during the Fall. Many old memories of rodeos and ropings at the facility. 

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Also in Oklahoma at the beginning of October will be the inductions in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKC. Many fine names in the rodeo world will be inducted including Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper. As an inductee last year, I can only tell them that it is a wonderful experience that they will enjoy. Jack Roddy will be receiving the Ben Johnson award this year, which is very much deserved. Congratulations everyone.

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Fall is in the air and I’m sure some snowbird ropers are already thinking of a busy winter in Arizona. The National Team Roping Association has many ropings planned as well as Dynamite Productions. There are many great ropings that will be going on from November until about the middle of April. 

The Gold Country of California will be playing host to a Cowboy Poetry, Music and Stories November 12th-15th in Loomis. “The Cowpoke” Fall Gathering will feature Chris Isaacs, Trinity Seeley, Michael Reno Harrell, Jeff Severson and the California Cowboy Band. Tickets and more info can be found at www.CowpokeFallGathering.com.

  

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