I just got back from a two-week trip to Brazil. For the last 10 years the Brazilian bull riders have had quite a bit of success here in the United States. You may remember at the recent American rodeo in Dallas, a young Brazilian heeler named Junior Nogueira, who pulled off some amazing shots. 

There are some major differences in the roping there and here in the United States. For one, they rope mulies. Back when I was competing all the time and trying to win a world title I would rope mulies. Rich and I would get 20 fresh mulie heifers and rope them dead fresh.

The angles and fundamentals are completely different than reaching and roping a horned steer. It’s much harder to rope a neck from three coils away, and they do it very consistently over there. If and when they conquer the fundamental differences, there are a few guys there that would have a good chance of making the NFR.

The way the Brazilians rope is based on the NFR. They go fast and love trying to be three or four seconds on every steer. I went to an Open roping while I was there. The score was short: a 20 ft. box with a 10 ft. barrier. The winners were 25 on five head. Like I said, they love to go fast. One of the things I found interesting at that roping was a barrier or leg was an automatic no time.

One thing they don’t do well, as a whole, is just go catch. When I was growing up back east, the scores were short and all we did was reach. So the guys from the east were good at that, but then at long scores like Cheyenne and Salinas, they really struggled. However, when you talk about raw ability, being able to ride a horse and rope, the Brazilians do that well. In the next five years be looking for Brazilian ropers to come over and be entered at the NFR. There are some guys there who can really rope.

I’ve uploaded a video at speedroping.com of some of the places I went in Brazil. It should be fun to watch, especially if you’ve never been there. An exciting thrill for me was hooking a fish that ran for 10 minutes before he ever slowed down. He ended up breaking my line. I was told there were quite a few fish in the pond that weighed over 50 pounds.

What’s new with me: I’ve been enjoying a new chapter in my life by being an assistant coach for Gabe’s baseball team. I’ve always enjoyed working with kids and teaching them to think. I have a simple philosophy when teaching kids…  If they don’t listen, then they have to run a lap. Right now I have six- and seven-year-olds paying very close attention. So far we’re 4/0 and pretty excited about the rest of the season.

I’ve been booking a lot of private schools at my house. If you’re interested in booking a day for you and your partner, please visit speedroping.com and click on “Where’s Speed” for available dates. Right now I’m staying booked about 30 days in advance.

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