Pushing the Barrier – February 20140
Team roping is bigger and more lucrative than ever before. If you are rated a #4, #5, or #6, you now have the opportunity to win far more than a professional roper who is rate a #10. At the USTRC Finals there are multiple ropings that pay over $50,000 per roper. The World Series of Team Roping Finale has five categories that pay over $100,000 per man. During the year there are many ropings that pay $20,000 or $30,000 to win.
These large payouts have had a huge affect on the horse market and there are more people than ever attending team roping schools and private clinics. Some people have begun to see their hobby as a business where for their investment, they have a chance to win a significant amount of money. Once it was common to spend $800 per weekend for a chance to win $1,000. Now, you can easily invest $1,000 or $1,500 in entry fees for a chance to win $30,000 to $50,000, rather than hope to break even.
This has made it very difficult to find and buy good quality horses. Many folks who used to ask a high price for a good, competitive horse now see them as a valuable and necessary tool needed to win a big paycheck. It’s not that good horses are priced too high; it’s hard to get a price on a good one at all. It makes even an average horse that you can compete and win on, harder to find.
As an instructor, it’s helped my business quite a bit. Anyone who is a competitor and has the desire to get better has the driving force to work at it. People are willing to invest in private clinics, where they get more individual attention. When I was growing up, I used to watch football and basketball and they all used playback to break down the details. I have used a video camera my entire career as an aid in understanding each run. This practice makes a big difference for a student, who is able to see their run frame by frame. They are able to truly understand what I’m talking about and what causes a run to fail.
Team roping is a lot like golf. There are so many small things that go into making a good run. It just takes one little thing to throw the mechanics off and ruin the whole run.
It’s exciting to think my kids may have the opportunity to make a living roping if the sport continues to grow. There’s no telling how big it can get. I just don’t see it slowing down.
What’s new with me: I recently loaded the short rounds from five Open ropings and they are all free to watch. This includes my 4-second run from Odessa and the short round from the American Rodeo qualifier. We now have 2,300 videos on speedroping.com. All videos added since the USTRC Finals will play on your iPhone or iPad. Older videos still require a Flash player. Please feel free to visit speedroping.com and have some fun watching some good fast runs.