September is the last month that PRCA contestants can earn the needed dollar points to place themselves in the top 15 of the Weather Guard Standings to win a slot at the Wrangler National Finals presented by Polaris RANGER in Las Vegas, NV. There is plenty of big money out there that can be won by those who are sitting on the bubble of the top 15. In the team roping heading division there are some who are veterans that are not in the top 15. Among them are the likes of Chad Masters and Matt Sherwood. In the heeling the names of Kory Koontz, Kyle Lockett, Cody Doescher, John Robertson and Chase Tryan are all on the bubble. 

Team roping jackpots have been down in numbers a little this past month on the West Coast and much of that is because some people have already qualified for their Finals  and a lot of the attendance has to do with back to school time of the year. It is hard to drag the whole family to ropings that require three days of being away from home. It’s hard to believe that many of the Finals are just around the corner and will be getting started in the next two months and, of course, finish up at the South Point in Las Vegas in December.  

Speaking of the South Point, it will again be the center of the World Series Team Roping Finals and will also host the 2017 PRCA National Convention starting on December 4th. The South Point will also host many other events during a two-week period in December. Make your plans now to attend many of the festivities this year at this fine facility. 

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Sorry to hear of the passing of Tom Powell of Salinas, Calif., this past month. Tom was a veteran team roper and headed for some of the best. He made the National Finals in 1967. We also lost our friend Roland Christiansen from Fallon, Nev. See their obituaries in this issue.

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 Big changes will be happening in the team roping world next year with the merger of the two big team roping giants, USTRC and the World Series of Team Roping. No more Super Looper Magazine or Spin to Win Magazine which both did a fine job of covering their respective organizations plus much more in the rodeo and roping world. They have been replaced with a new publication titled The Team Roping Journal. This is interesting to me and the staff here at Ropers Sports News for the fact that we have been reporting in the team roping world for almost 50 years now and have seen many team roping publications come and go. Being the original publication devoted to team roping was interesting in the late 1960’s when team roping was pretty much limited to New Mexico, Arizona and California. Team roping at the NFR was mostly ropers from California and when the California flag was introduced at the NFR there would be many contestants represented. Now most of the ropers have moved out of state with a majority of them going to Texas.

It is funny to me that Texas is the team roping mecca that it is today, when I can remember when team roping wasn’t very popular in the state of Texas or Oklahoma. Boy, have times changed. There are still plenty of ropings here in California and many of them are low entry fee ropings where many of the ropers can come and have fun for a few hours and bring their family and not have to spend a whole weekend away from home. 

California has to be one of the hardest states to travel in with a horse trailer. I feel for those who have to go through the big cities to get to a roping. It seems like there is not any good time to travel in this state anymore unless you live in a remote area. California is still a great state in the rural areas and has much to offer in weather and beauty, but we are running out of roads in the metro areas. It’s like getting out late on a hard running steer, I don’t think we will ever catch up. 

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 Stopped by and saw Jack and Donna Roddy last month at their ranch in Central California. They are doing fine and Donna is still riding daily and Jack is out and about checking the ranch. Jack was remembering the good old days of the big open ropings in California and how things have changed. The Roddy Ranch has probably hosted more celebrities over the years than any other area arena. Many fundraisers have been held there through cutting and ropings. It was good to see the two of them – but I have to say  I’m not that fond of their two man-eating Chihuahuas. LOL

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 We have gotten word that Brad Robertson, Plymouth, Calif., was seriously injured at home in a roping accident. He is recovering in a northern California hospital. Our best to him for a speedy recovery. 

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 Good luck to all of you making your Finals and those still trying. Next month we should have the line-up of who is going to the NFR. I’m sure that we will have some new names on the roster. 


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