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Monday, Jan 18th, 2010

State of the Union (read more)

Roping is definitely a great sport and I’m a true fan of it – I truly enjoy team roping.And I see that I’m not the only one.The first week of roping in Arizona was nothing short of remarkable, if you consider the following:

The USTRC Lasso Del Sol Roping was up almost 200 teams – not counting the add-on ropers – for a total team count of more than 1,700. The World Series Qualifier at Queen Creek was remarkable, as well, also getting over 1,700 teams, while 400 teams showed up at the No Wolves Allowed roping at Dunn’s Arena and another 400 came to play at the Silver Bit Arena on New Year’s Eve – all in the same week!

These numbers are even more inspiring when I look back to the summers my family produced weekly jackpots in the 1980s. Back then, ropings almost never got more than 100 teams – and roping for $50 a man was a big, big deal.

A huge factor in how far we’ve come is “the master,” Denny Gentry, who revolutionized the sport with uniformed classifications and set the standard for excellence in production and cattle when he formed the USTRC.He truly transformed those little local jackpots into a nationwide industry.

After leaving the USTRC and taking time off to pursue other interests, three years ago Denny debuted the World Series of Team Roping during the NFR in Las Vegas. What an event this has turned out to be! By upping the ante for elite ropers, he’s once again changed the game.My hat goes off to Denny for keeping the sport on its toes – I’m glad you’re back!