Dear Roper,

There’s something about having a fresh batch of 8,000 photos from a Team Roping Journal photo shoot to revive my creative juices. This June, during this issue’s production, New Mexico-based photographer Jamie Arviso joined us at Trevor Brazile’s and Ryan Motes’ arenas for two days of roping action with the best in the business.

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The result? Some 24 months’ worth of instructional photos, cover images and more. The arenas were perfect, the horses were outstanding and the light was gorgeous, and nobody captures team roping like Jamie. She happens to be Derrick Begay’s big sister, and she’s got an eye for the smallest details of the sport. I can’t wait for you all to see the results, starting on page 40 with our 6-Flat with Cesar de la Cruz this month.

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Right after our photo shoot, I high-tailed it to Guthrie, Oklahoma, for the Bob Feist Invitational. I’ve always loved the Lazy E, and getting to watch the BFI in that historic building, in these unprecedented times, was really something else. This is the third consecutive year that a lesser-known team has won the event, making my job even more interesting in getting to know two up-and-coming greats I’d never met before in Kal Fuller and Reagan Ward (page 16). On page 70, I also review the massive feat the team at the Lazy E has undertaken this summer, essentially becoming the home to the Western industry when public facilities across the West are shut down.

I guess what I’m trying to say with all this—we’ve got a lot to feel good about this month at The Journal. G.R. Schiavino’s “Icons” piece on Tex Williams (page 32) is the kind of reporting we need right about now, and her story on Jennifer Pollmiller (page 38) highlights the kind of women working in agriculture who truly help the industry grow.

Thank you all for picking up this issue, and shoot us a note to let us know what you think—cshaffer@aimmedia.com.

Chelsea 

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