Ropers Sports News • April 2019

24060 N. Ray Rd., Lodi, CA 95242 • 209-333-2924 • • R OPERS S PORTS N EWS APRIL 2019 V OL . 51, N O . 5 $2.50 “The Original Team Roping Publication” Postage Pre-Paid O FFICIAL P UBLICATION O F : • California ACTRA • California $hoot-Outs • NCJRA Justin Thigpen, the 2019 Cinch Timed Event champion, stayed solid in each event to win by a huge margin over second place finisher K.C. Jones. –James Phifer/ Joel Cowley, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo President/CEO; Jim Winne, Chairman of the Board; Michael Gomez, Mrs Baird’s Regional Sales Manager (RodeoHouston® Team Roping is sponsored by Mrs Baird’s and KHOU 11); Ty Blasingame, RodeoHouston champion team roping header; Kyle Lockett, RodeoHouston champion team roping heeler. –Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Photo CTEC Rookie Snags Crown Justin Thigpen Dominates Timed Event Championship GUTHRIE, OK (March 10, 2019) – Sev- enteen days before the opening round of the Cinch Timed Event Championship, Justin Thig- pen took a call from the Lazy E Arena inviting him to be a replacement for the injured JoJo LeMond. Fifty hours after he roped his first steer, the Waycross, Georgia, cowboy became just the 15th man to win the “Ironman of ProRodeo” in the event’s 35th year. What’s even bigger is that he became the third rookie in that time to claim the title and the top prize: Leo Camarillo won it in the first year in 1985, and Mike Beers was the next newcomer to do it a year later. “I’ve wanted to come here for years,” said Thigpen, a 19-time International Professional Rodeo Association champion who has won titles in the all-around, tie-down roping, head- ing and steer wrestling. “I’ve dedicated my life to roping. I’m’ so glad I got to prove to myself that I can do it and that I belong here.” Yes, he does, and he proved it to the well- educated Lazy E crowd from the opening kick- off. He was strong and steady and placed in the first three rounds – second in the first two per- formances and first on Saturday afternoon. He also packed a heavy dose of prizes and money, $107,000. It’s the richest weekend of competition he’s ever earned. “By far,” he said. “Wow. What a great event. I’m honored that they had me. The crowd is just amazing; they respect the horsemanship it takes and the cowboys. There’s not another event that’s dedicated to the roping and bull- dogging like this event.” Twenty of the best all-around, timed-event See CINCH TIMED EVENT On Page 6 Houston, We’ve Got No Problem Blasingame and Lockett Look To Be Las Vegas Bound By Lane Karney Special To Ropers Sports News With the win at Rodeo- Houston, Ty Blasingame and Kyle Lockett put themselves in prime position for return ap- pearances at the Wrangler Na- tional Finals Rodeo, which this year will run December 5-14 in Las Vegas. The win—one of the most prestigious and profitable in both of their all-star cowboy ca- reers—pocketed them $55,750 a man, which for the first time in a long time counts toward Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world standings. At press time, Blasingame had jumped to the #1 spot amongst team roping headers, while Lockett landed second on the heeling side, just $1,000 shy of world #1, Ryan Motes, who won The American heeling for Coleman Proctor. “It’s a life-changing expe- rience for me, my family and my kids (daughters Kashlyn, 10, and Kodie, 6). I have the Finals pretty much made in March. Houston is a prestigious rodeo and everybody wants to win it—it’s like Cheyenne and all them. It’s the biggest win I’ve ever had. It’s a blessing to win it,” said Blasingame, who lives in Casper, Wyoming, and is best known to most as “Blaster.” As for having the Finals pretty much made in March, that’s something we haven’t seen much of in years past. It’s also pretty refreshing for See RODEOHOUSTON On Page 14

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