I have been up at the ACTRA Finals in Reno for a couple of days and it is good to see so much family participation in all of the events and to see so many young and seasoned ropers roping together and having fun doing it.

There was some sad news the first part of the event with Red Bluff’s Cole Bunting getting in a horse wreck, sending him to the hospital with multiple facial injuries plus swelling of the brain. He was put in an induced coma and as of this writing is still in it in a Reno hospital. He was showing some signs of improvement over the past couple of days. Many ropers contributed towards his fund at the roping plus signed a giant get well card that was at the ACTRA booth. Our prayers go out to Cole and his family during these tough times.
The ACTRA Finals in Reno was again well attended with an increase in overall teams since last year. The arena was in great shape under the direction of Mike Mieras, who is the new facility manager of the Reno Sparks Livestock Center. Mike has only been in this position for the last nine months and coming from a competitive horse background, is able to add a lot to the improvement of the facility. Already new LED lighting has been added to the main arena plus the tunnel between the warm-up arena and the main arena. All new panels plus arena dirt are in the works for the future. Hopefully a centerpiece scoreboard will be the next thing to be added, plus addressing the sound system. The roof has been attended to and a full remodel of the rest­rooms is next on the list, according to Rhonda Leach of the RSLEC.

The Reno Rodeo has big plans to improve the rodeo grounds over the next five years, starting with a new exhibit hall which would house all of the vendors. Some major changes would be introduced including a five-story parking facility which would accommodate about 3,200 parking places. Many more meetings are needed to make this a reality. This same building would house over 1,400 horses with stalls on the bottom floor of the faciliity. I wish them all the luck in the world as I have always like Reno for equestrian events and I think this major improvement will draw far more horses and riders to Reno.

Be sure to support your closest commercial arena. Remember that they too have production costs and are entitled to a profit for putting on affordable practice and ropings. Many ropings today feature a larger entry fee which leaves out the up-and-coming roper. Plus, it is hard to train on your horse at a high dollar roping. The smaller arenas and jackpot ropings may have to hold out more to make ends meet, so don’t expect them to put on ropings and only hold out 20 to 30 percent, because that probably comes nowhere close to covering the cost of putting on the ropings. So if you rope for less money, plan on more money being withheld. This makes the ropings affordable to you plus lets the producer make a decent profit.

The Wrangler National Finals are closing in and it is neat to look at the current standings and try to pick who will end up the world champion in any one event. The main reason that it is so hard is the fact that the money at the Finals is so lucrative anymore, that a person winning a couple of rounds can change the standings in a hurry. The only event that looks like it could be a shoe-in is the Bull Riding, with Sage Kimzey way out in the lead by over $80,000. Study the 2019 PRCA RAM World Standings on page 12 to see what all of the possibilities are in each event.
Next month will be a big month with the Wrangler National Finals taking place in Las Vegas. As always it will be an exciting 10 days in Vegas with the bulk of all the team roping action taking place at the famed South Point Equestrian Center. It again will be the home for the World Series of Team Roping Finale and some ropers will fill their pockets with large amounts of cash plus some great awards.
Safe travels to all of you and hopefully I will see some of you at the South Point. Happy Thanksgiving to all.


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