The US Finals: An Inside Look at the June 2024 Issue
The stories behind the winner's circle.
Logan White, CINCH USTRC NFTR Rocky Mountain Elk #11.5 Shootout winner.
Logan White, CINCH USTRC NFTR Rocky Mountain Elk #11.5 Shootout winner. | photo by Kirsten Ziegler

Dear Roper,

cover of the June 2024 issue of The Team Roping Journal featuring Kelon Andrews winning the Rocky Mountain Elk #11.5 Shootout
On the cover: Kelon Andrews upon winning the Rocky Mountain Elk #11.5 Shootout, worth $72,000 at the Cinch USTRC NFTR XXXV. | Photo by Kirsten Ziegler

Welcome to the Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping special issue of The Team Roping Journal. The ‘US Finals,’ as we all call them in this business, are monumental in scope, and perhaps more industry-defining than anything else in the history of Western sports. 

I’ve done a few* interviews over the years with Denny Gentry, who posits that the first US Finals in 1990 was the event that broke down interstate barriers in recreational team roping, cracking this industry wide open to the fun and economic impact it has today. That first roping paid $600,000, with an Open, a #12, #10, #8, #6 and Century.

He’s not wrong—not even a little. This year’s Cinch USTRC NFTR was a far cry from that original little jackpot in Oklahoma. The 2024 edition of the US Finals featured 18 different divisions with 5,500 teams, plus three breakaway ropings. It paid out $3.3 million, plus another $250,000 in prizes. The Will Rogers Memorial Center housed 1,500 horses throughout the week, as well as the 1,100 head of cattle that made the roping go round. 

The current roping royalty grew up at the US ropings—with names like Tyler Wade and Wesley Thorp dominating from the Junior Loopers all the way through the handicap system, eventually adding world champs to their USTRC titles, too. 

We know, though, that the US Finals is about the stories of the families who get to rope together, the businessmen and businesswomen who take a week off to enjoy Cowtown, the kids roping the dummy 12-plus hours a day outside the entry office and that new roper getting his or her first big check in the John Justin in front of a crowd. 

Starting on page 60, we cover the eight days of Cinch USTRC NFTR competition in detail, and you can still watch the whole roping on our video platform over at Roping.com, too.

There’s plenty more packed into this book, so I hope you spend some time flipping through it in the passenger seat on your way to the next one this month. 

Chelsea 

SHARE THIS STORY
CATEGORIES
TAGS
Related Articles
Tyler Worley riding a sorrel horse and swinging a rope
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Inner Strength with Tyler Worley
Sartain spins the short-round steer at Reno in 2008 for Richard.
Big Break
Rhen Richard’s Rookie-Year Reno Win
Ashton Hughes heading at at the 2024 NFTR.
USTRC RESISTOL JR. RACE
Late-Season Successes Lead to Resistol Jr. Year-End Titles for Ashton Hughes and Kale Roark
Caroline Taylor roping in the 2024 Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping #9.5.
USTRC Cinch Ladies
Standings Domination Leads to Year-End Titles for Caroline Taylor and Kyra Hendren
Hunter Koch 2024 The American Freeze Frame - Jamie Arviso photo
freeze frame
Hunter Koch Breaks Down First-Out Run at The American