Dear Roper, 

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We’ve got this rule in the magazine business about our editor’s letters. Every month we try to write something that will be relevant when the magazine hits your mailboxes a month and a half later. I stick to that pretty well, usually. 

Through mass shootings, acts of war, sports scandals—I usually find something distracting to write about in these few hundred words that is applicable later. But I’m sitting down to write this letter March 23, 2020, not knowing at all what May 1, 2020, will look like when you thumb through these pages. When we started this issue’s production schedule, I was heading to Disney World with my family and Assistant/Digital Editor Kaitlin Gustave and Senior Editor Kendra Santos were heading to RFD-TV’s The American. It was business as usual, and we were looking forward to spring. 

[Read: Living the American Dream: Brown and Harrison Win $100K at RFD-TV's The American]

The COVID-19 crisis hit just as I got home from that perfect family vacation, and pretty quickly our staff moved to home offices. We mobilized on the digital front, supporting ropers any way we could with special editions of “The Score,” full of dummy-roping instruction and horsemanship tips, and we worked with Ty Yost and Connie and Denny Gentry to roll out as much information as possible about team roping events across the country to our membership. 

[SHOP: The Team Roping Journal]

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At this writing, I’m proud of our staff’s ability to keep our heads down and keep as much of our good work cooking as possible during these impossible times. We sprinkled as much extra magic in this issue as we could, and we pumped out stories to give you something to talk about with your families around the dinner table or in the feed truck. I hope you’re reconnecting with your crew as much as I am with mine in this time, and I hope these pages give you a little escape from whatever reality is throwing your way right now. Here’s to that first jackpot back. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.

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