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Billings, Mt – The annual National Team Roping Tour (NTR) Cowboy Christmas spanned four states and paid out more than half a million in cash and prizes. Events took place June 29 through July 1 in Mormon Lake, Ariz., and Rapid City, S.D., on June 30 and July 1 in Hamilton, Texas, and on July 4 in Buffalo, Wyo.

Chas Ophus of Watford City, N.D., drove home from the Central States Fairground in Rapid City with one of two Ram trucks awarded during Cowboy Christmas. Ophus owns and operates Rockin S Seamless Rain Gutters. He and his wife, Kory, have three kids, Judd, 4, Karter, 2, and Cruz, one month.

“It’s hard to find time to rope with the business and the kids. We try to rope about once a week though,” said Ophus, who made the decision to go to Rapid City just the day before the #9 Truck Roping that resulted in a rope off between him and his draw partner, Clay Horton. The duo took home $9,200 for their first-place finish but in the end, it was Ophus who took home the high point prize. “It was so late when the truck roping ended my wife had already taken the kids back to the hotel,” he laughed. “I had to call and wake her up. I think it’s still just sinking in.”

Austin Harris was the winner of the Ram 3500 at the Circle T Arena in Hamilton, Texas. The Hamilton Cowboy Christmas event doubled as a Livin’ for Ropin’ (L4R) Tour event. Presented by Cactus, L4R is a division of the NTR that offers simplified formats with big cash and prize payouts.

A Utah native, Harris has been in Prosper, Texas, for eight years where he run his own company, Rumble Pest Solutions. The Monday prior to the #10 L4R Truck Roping, Harris and his wife, Tausha, welcomed twin girls, Brynn and Brylee. Born at 35 weeks both girls were in the hospital but doing well. “I decided to head to Hamilton on Friday afternoon,” said Harris who also has a 3-year-old son, Reagan. “I didn’t have much to do except sit and worry about the girls.” 

Harris was certain that a leg in the short round had cost him winning the truck, so he went out back to unsaddle. “I went back in to see if I had placed in the money and they had been waiting for me for 20 minutes.” While he didn’t win a check in the average he stayed good on points—which were awarded through 15 places—to take home his new L4R custom ride.

The NTR is in its fifth year of operation and holds their National Finals each year at Rancho Rio in Wickenburg, Ariz. The 2019 NTR National Finals V will take place March 4-9. For complete results and a schedule of upcoming events visit nationalteamroping.com.

About the NTR: With low entry fees and big payouts, the National Team Roping Tour has more than 6,000 members who compete in NTR-sanctioned events nationwide. For more information on the National Team Roping Tour or to become a member visit nationalteamroping.com. Follow us on facebook at facebook.com/nationalteamroping and on Instagram, search nationalteamroping.

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MORMON LAKE, AZ – The National Team Roping Tour held June 29-July 1. Twenty-four saddles and 20 buckles were given out as well as $7,000 in VIP bonus cash.

Results are as follows:


#10 Megabucks

Average: 1. Rusty Helgerson and Cole Shott, 37.78 on 4, $2,340. 2. Sam Habib and John Miller, 43.53, $1,400. 3. Zane Munoz and Carl Luna, 45.43, $930.

Short go fast time not placing in the average: 1. Julius Keyonnie and Walt Vermedahl, 7.81, $200.

#9 Megabucks

Average: 1. Dean Drosos and Walt Vermedahl, 46.61, $3,650 plus $2,000 VIP bonus. 2. Mary Vermedahl and Kurt Richardson, 48.39, $2,190. 3. Billy Ferreira and Lance Copeland, 60.69, $1,460.

Short go fast time not placing in the average: 1. Jimmy Cotant and Jack Bebo, 23.95, $200.

#8 Megabucks

Average: 1. Mary Vermedahl and Tombo Kaufman, 36.55 on 3, $3,080. 2. Ty Sorrells and Jeff Lira, 37.10, $1,840. 3. Bailey Girvin and Taylor Girvin, 21.54, $1,230.

#9 Saddle Up

Average: 1. Dean Drosos and Isiah Smith, 29.12 on three, $1,600 plus saddles. 2. Ezra and Albert Nez, 30.03, $1,070 plus saddles. 3. HK Wagner and Zabe Munoz, 31.73, $820 plus saddles. 4. Dagoberto Vega and Jolene Yellowman, 33.93, $580 plus saddles. 5. HK Wagner and Les Jodi, $440. 6. Phil Watahomigie and Ace Henderson, 37.64, $340.

Short go: 1. Dean Drosos and Isah Smith, 8.69, $200.


#10 Megabucks


1. Trey Williams and Chance Williams, 34.66 on 4, $2,720. 2. Brody Shott and Cole Shott, 39.23, $1,620. 3. Daylan and Rockwell Kepler, 41.56, $1,080.

Short go: 1. Zane Munoz and Carl Luna, 7.37, $200.

#9 Megabucks

Average: 1. Darrell Nez and Julius Keyonne, 45.39 on 4, $3,760. 2. Zane Munoz and Walt Vermedahl, 48.16, $2,260. 3. Rusty Helgerson and Porter Bryant, 49.77, $1,500.

Short go fast time not placing in the average: 1. Rusty Helgerson and Porter Bryant, 8.17, $200.

#10 Bonus Roping

Average: 1. Brody Shott and Cole Shott, 20.66 on 3, $2,480. 2. Daylan Barton and Travis Stodghill, $1,860. 3. Rusty Helgerson and Travis Stodghill, 25.75, $1,240. 4. Timothy Kepler and Ace Henderson, 27.29, $620.

Short go fastest time not placing in the average; 1. Gary McCurry and Casey Wood, 8.58, $200.

#8 Saddle Up

Average: 1. Brian Bowers and Jay Tallsalt, 26.81 on 3, $1,630 plus saddles. 2. Cornelius D Yazzie and Leo Bonnie, 28.46, $1,080 plus saddles. 3. Jose Romero and Calvin Rocke,  29.05, $840 plus saddles. 4. Gordon Williams and Tristan Encinias, 29.88, $580 plus saddles. 5. Cornelius D Yazzie and Jesus Vasquez, 31.85, $440. 6. Gary Marcantonio and Ashley Moses, 32.36, $360.

Rising Stars

5 & Under: Magaly Aranda. 6-8 Years: Barrett Williamson. 10-12 Years: Daunte Begay.


#8 Megabucks

Average: 1. Luis Lopez and Chongo Wood, 17.75 on 4, $1,580. 2. Gary McCurry and Taylor Girvin, 28.23, $1,050.

#7 Buckle Up

Average: 1. Brian Bowers and Rene Morales, 19.12 on 2, $2,340 plus buckles. 2. Jefferson Foster and Kendale Begay, 20.16 on 2, $1,560 plus buckles. 3. Lloyd Armour and Elliott Hatathlie, 20.41, $1,200 plus buckles. 4. Micah Jones and Cruz Ruiz, 20.57, $840 plus buckles. 5. Teo Villalobos and Harry C Nez, 20.67, $640 plus buckles. 6. Cheryl Staples and Artsen Hernandez, 21.17, $500 plus buckles. 7. Cauy Quentin Begay and Marshawn Gorman, 21.83, buckles. 8. Kayla Hansen and Ashley Moses, 22.17, buckles. 9. Ezra Morris and Charlie Johnston, 23.81, buckles. 10. Micah Jones and Harry C Nez, 25.28, buckles.

#8 Saddle Up

Average: 1. David Furnas and Rio Looper, 26.54 on 3, $1,460 plus saddles. 2. Brody Shott and Chongo Wood, 28.22, $980 plus saddles. 3. Kevin Williams and Artsen Hernandez, 32.21, $740 plus saddles. 4. Wade Hansen and Tuvita Thompson, 34.66, $520 plus saddles. 5. Hugo Rios Garcia and Sergio Navarrete, 35.02, $400. 6. Olivia Hatathlie and robbie Tanner Thompson, 35.55, $300.

Rising Stars: 5 & under: Jayden Varela. 6-8 years: 1. Wylie Haatathlie. 9-12 years: Cody Tallsalt.

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BUFFALO, WY – July 4th found the NTR in Buffalo, Wyo. at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The big roping of the day was the #9 Big Freedom that had an additional $5,000 cash awarded to the average winners who were Ira Shober and Ron Shober.

Complete results follow and payoff is per team.


#11 Megabucks 

Average: 1. Will Griffel and Colten Fisher, 34.45 on 4, $3,3950. 2. Tony Holden and Hardy White, 41.54, $2,370.3. Roger St. Clair and Brent Coon, 41.63, $1,580.

Short go fastest time not placing in the average: 1. Tye Reed and Hardy White, 7.00, $200.

#10 Megabucks

Average: 1. Chris Birkmaier and Hardy White, 39.94 on 4, $4,650. 2. Maverik Franks and Cashton Weidenbener, 40.35, $3,470. 3. Coy Johnson and Nate Rogers, 40.84, $2,310. 4. David Soppe and Monte Sandvick, 41.54, $1,160.

Short go: 1. Maverik Franks and Cashton Weidenbener, 7.37, $200.

#9 Big Freedom

Average: 1. Ira Shober and Ron Shober, 32.71 on 4, $6,520. 2. Maverik Franks and Chaston Weidenbener, 38.85, $4,130. 3. Roger St. Clair and Preston Anesi, 39.27, $2,820. 4. Roger St. Clair and Bob Mohar, 40.08, $2,400. 5. Cam Maurice Johnson and Josh Johnson, 42.88, $1,960. 6. Chris Brock and Devon Smith, 46.89, $1,740. 7. Jeff Padilla and Eric Fleming, 47.43, $1,300. 8. Doug Ginsbach and Luke Ginsbach, 47.85, $880.

Short go: 1. Maverik Franks and Cashton Weidenbener, 8.29, $300.