Before I dive into my usual Dear Roper note, I want to give you a personal moment of background on this special issue.
On Monday, October 2, our staff sat bleary-eyed in a conference room, fluorescent lights and AC buzzing, to plan our December issue. We were all a little weary from watching the news since we got up first thing that morning, because 12 hours earlier, the largest mass-shooting in U.S. history took place in a city so near and dear to our hearts.
So as we sat there, trying to plan our issue that was set-out to be an ode to Vegas, anyway, we couldn't help but think that we wanted to honor our home-away-from home on the cover. So much of what went into this issue is a reflection of the admiration we have for the City of Lights and its people, who open their doors to our community every December. With this magazine, you'll also receive our World Series of Team Roping Finale XII program, to hype you up even more for your trip to Las Vegas. I hope you'll enjoy this very special edition of The Team Roping Journal.
For 28 years, the Cinch NFTR was the largest roping in the world, and this year the payout jumped back up to $5 million, hosting 11,000 teams in seven days at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds and Lazy E Arena. Now that the USTRC’s staff has made it through its first NFTR under new leadership, the team is busy again mapping out 2018. That includes going through an onslaught of more than 100 resumes for the job of President of the USTRC, brought on by the announcement that Denny Gentry was the ‘temporary’ head of operations. Look for more on the leadership of the USTRC on these pages in the coming months.
With the Cinch NFTR now behind us, we’re getting ready for the biggest month in team roping and rodeo. With this issue, you’re also receiving the program for the World Series of Team Roping’s Finale XII, packed with everything you need to know before you pull into the South Point Hotel & Casino. And on page 104 of this issue, Kendra Santos gives you the backstory on how Las Vegas became the center of the Western world more than three decades ago.
We also take time to introduce you to Jr. Dees, who will make his Wrangler National Finals Rodeo debut Dec. 7. The 19-year-old from Aurora, South Dakota, has a story unlike any other roper backing into the box in the Thomas & Mack this year.
Of course, you’ll find tips—both mental and physical—to get you ready for the Finale throughout this issue. We tapped WPRA barrel racer and clinical psychologist Kathy Korell-Rach on page 90 to give you some mental strategies as you prepare for high-pressure situations, and Clay O’Brien Cooper talks about learning to “catch the last one” on page 54. Plus, Coleman Proctor’s here to provide a new in-the-box strategy and Joseph Harrison has some pointers for all the heelers out there on taking a solid shot.
See something you like, or is there a story we missed? Don’t be afraid to write: firstname.lastname@example.org.