OK, so I realize I'm treading on thin ice in regard to this subject, but in the editorial process of choosing our cover and finding an image, I floated the idea that Clay Tryan is the best header of our generation.
Of course, we have to define generation. From my perspective, the ?modern? team roping era is broken down into three categories. First, when team roping was coming out of its shell and being included in more often in rodeos while simultaneously beginning to form in a big way at the amateur level. Say, the era from 1985-1995. Clearly, Jake Barnes was the best header in that era. The next era could be defined as a transition from consistent, methodical runs to faster and faster runs in the rodeo arena and the boom in popularity for amateurs. Pin that era from 1995-2005. Again, the best header is pretty clear: Speed Williams.
Maybe it's too early to define the best header of this era: from 2005-2015. But it's fun to take some guesses. As of now, it's my postulation that it has to be Clay Tryan. Here's what Clay has done:
-2005 World Champion
-Only missed the NFR once (2008) in 10 years
-Set world speed record once and the Wrangler NFR record twice
-Won the PRCA regular season two times
-Set a new regular season earnings record for headers in 2010
-Won and placed second at the Wildfire Open to the World in 2010
-Won the Bob Feist Invitational three times
-Won the George Strait Team Roping Classic in 2012
-Won the US Open two times
-Won the NFR Average in 2004
-Won the California Rodeo in Salinas five times
In my opinion, only Chad Masters and Matt Sherwood can challenge these credentials.
With all that in mind, check out a story about our cover boy winning his third BFI title. Plus, we?ve got great stuff from the Reno Rodeo, the College National Finals Rodeo, 4th of July run. Plus, look for instructional help from Trevor Brazile on heeling, steer wrestling tips from Ethen Thouvenell and all kinds of news and notes from the roping world.
Hopefully my above assertions create some great conversations. We?d love to hear what our readers think, so jump on Facebook and let us know if you think I'm wrong, or if you think I'm right. As for the best heeler, I'm not opening that can of worms?yet.