7/11-On the Road with Patrick Smith: Brazil Team Roping Clinics0
This year was my second trip to Brazil. I did four clinics in 10 days. The ropers in Brazil don’t have access to the roping resources like we do. We’re spoiled here- we can pick whatever pro we want and probably get ahold of them, get lessons or go to a roping school. Over there they don’t have that opportunity. They are very hungry for information and fun to teach.
The team roping has really taken off in Brazil. The jackpots are a huge deal. It’s not like here where everyone ropes and goes home. They have bands and parties and hundreds of teams. It’s neat to go over there and see how prestigious it is to win a roping. They make a huge deal out of it with prizes and excitement. The announcers make it sound like you’re at a wrestling match.
They are working on getting horned but right now they only rope muleys. They all rope necks and are very good at it. It really surprised me how good they can head and heel. One of my schools had several ropers that would be a #9 if they were here. Many of the guys do a lot of cowboying and are very handy with a rope.
The set ups are a little faster. They like shorter barriers and going fast. They don’t have little weekly jackpots, but they do have one almost every weekend. They give cars and motorcycles away at almost every roping.
The language barrier is a challenge, but our translator, Rafael, was great. When I got to the airport I didn’t even know how to order food. It’s not like here where you can at least point and explain. I did not even know what I was ordering. Now, I know about three phrases in Portuguese – “Get your tip down”, “keep riding your horse” and “good job”. “Muito Bom” means very good.
It was definitely a lot of fun, and I’m hoping to make it an annual trip. I get to see a lot of beautiful country and meet some great people. If you ever get the chance to go, don’t pass it up.