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Dear Roper, 

The turn of the season—and the shorter days it brings with it—is upon us, as we say farewell to long, late summer nights in the arena and have to get more creative with our schedules. But at the same time, the season-end events are getting near, putting the pressure on for more perfect practice.

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I like to think that’s somewhere we come in. No matter the weather—Wyoming’s blowing snow, the Arizona heat, the East Coast’s monsoon rains—we’ve got your team roping fix. This issue is no exception. Our At the Barrier (page 14) section is loaded with the news you need about the sport you love, and Ropers (page 22) is like catching up with your buddies in line at the practice pen. Our Competitive Edge section (page 34) will help you make a plan to tune yourself up when you do get time in the arena, and our features will expand your understanding of the sport and take you deeper into the lives and stories of ropers at every level. Kendra Santos profile on one of the newest NFR switchenders— Clint Summers—will reintroduce you to the Florida boy who went all in on the head side with the help of Trevor Brazile (page 66). You’ll find the second part of my two-part series on related great horses on page 52, and you’ll find G.R. Schiavino’s artful telling of the life of veteran Donnie Woodmansee on page 58. 

Before the weather turned, our team spent hours upon hours in hot, dusty arenas this summer and fall shooting training videos for you on Roping.com and, as the weather worsens in your neck of the woods, the content on our subscription site will get better and better to keep your mind sharp and ensure you’re ready with new knowledge and skills when you doget to the practice pen.

This issue is our last edition of The Breakaway Roping Journal for 2021. It will start again in January 2022—with a newly crowned WPRA World Champion on the cover. Last year’s NFBR was immensely special, and I’ll so enjoy seeing my friends compete under the bright lights of Las Vegas this year—even if it’s not quite the Thomas & Mack.

May your season be filled with grateful hearts,

Chelsea Shaffer

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