Changing Lives: An Inside Look at the January 2023 Issue

Dear Roper, 

Inside this issue, you’ll find stories of lives changed by the sport of team roping. Think about that. You get to compete with your friends and family, doing something you love, something you’re addicted to and, as an added bonus, you win money. A lot of money. 

It’s not all about the money, of course, but how lucky are we to be in the one rare Western sport that’s structured in a way to allow ropers to cover the cost of their trips, their horses, their rigs and their ropes. No, this team roping game isn’t about trinkets and ribbons. (Though, I am a sucker for a good trinket.) 

In the 12 years I’ve been covering the richest roping in the world, I’ve seen day-working cowboys be able to buy their own cows after their win, teachers finally able to afford to buy themselves a piece of land, business owners able to invest back into their employees, hard-luck kids able to send themselves to college or trade school and grandparents able to buy a little something extra for their grandkids for Christmas. The emotions that the Finale brings out are hard to put into words, but the staff at the Ariat World Series of Team Roping captures it all nicely starting on page 65.

For the 2022 PRCA World Champions—Kaleb Driggers & Junior Nogueira—it may be the second consecutive set of gold buckles they’ve won, but their lives, too, will be changed by the record-setting season they had and the title they had to defend until the very end. 

All this life-changing talk, though, reminds me of something Derrick Begay once said about the time he didn’t win the George Strait: “They always said if you won the George Strait, it changed your life. So I guess I’m glad I didn’t win it, because I love my life.” Remember that.

See you down the road as the new season gets underway,

The January 2023 issue of The Team Roping Journal.
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