USTRC Changes The Look of Team Roping Forever
Turn back the calendar 30 years and imagine arenas where local families got together for fellowship and a little jackpot team roping. The word gets out as the horns are being wrapped. A buddy has a friend in town that ropes at a premier level…he enters up with his traveling partner and wins the roping, rolling out the next day with the local jackpot money. These high level ropers at the home town jackpots were “affectionately” called wolves, and whether you were one or a victim of one, highly affected your attitude loading your horse after the event. In 1990 Denny Gentry, team roping participant and producer had an idea, to create a numbered handicapped system, where each roper was assigned a number that originally referred to one being a beginner, intermediate, advanced or a professional.
Much like golf, this concept leveled the playing field and allowed a variety of skillsets to compete together. As the ropers skill level increased, so would the number. If one didn’t have a number, the producer and/or the association had the ability to assign or adjust numbers accordingly based on skill level and performance at an initial roping or based off of results turned in to the USTRC office.
Fast forward to 2021, team roping is the single largest western lifestyle sport in the world. There are over 200,000 team ropers using the number handicapped system that has helped to provide a platform where contestants can enjoy competition at their unique level. The numbering system has evolved into a more complex and useful system where ropers have three levels within their number, a stair stepped handicapped system with a number having an additional elite, to classify yet offer opportunities to improve but not get tossed into the next level in appropriately.
Team ropers of all ages have several options for membership with the USTRC. From a basic membership, to youth, complimentary for seniors over 70…to the premier Key card that allows one to rope at the USTRC and the World Series of Team Roping annually; there is something for everyone. The membership and event level incentives are rich for discounts and deals to accrue for entries into the USTRC National Finals in Ft. Worth, TX. Be sure to check out the detailed info at www.ustrc.com.
The USTRC Cinch National Finals is the ultimate holiday for team roping competitors and fans. A solid week, 7 days of team roping, with a full array of numbered and specialty ropings. The event will kick off with the Open or 16.5, the who’s who of team roping traversing the landscape and ending with the largest percent of the membership, the #7. The specialty ropings include “The Legends” with the team being made up of two ropers over 40 years old. The “All Girl,” an exposition of handy gals including past NHSRA and NLBRA, CNFR champions. One will not want to rope against the young guns in the industry in Junior Yeti Open.
To read about the evolution of team roping visit https://teamropingjournal.com/news/the-evolution-of-team-roping. And, for more information on the USTRC visit ustrc.com. And for all your team roping needs, NRS is your one stop shop for all things team roping…and gifts for your significant other while you’re on the road to the next one. Visit www.nrsworld.com