I wait until most everything has come together for each issue before I write this letter to you. Sometimes, that happens at the 11th hour—as it certainly did this month. (As I write this, it’s 12:15 a.m. the day we go to press, so maybe it’s the 12th hour, but that’s not how the saying really goes.)
Anyway. On the top right of this page, you’ll find our volume and issue number (digital readers, that’s VOL 7 NO. 1). That means very little to all of you, I’m sure. But as I started this letter, it caught my eye, and I realized that this starts year seven of The Team Roping Journal. These anniversaries always sneak up on me—I’m sure because they come in the middle of summer, when our staff is literally up at all hours of the night (clearly) writing, podcasting, posting, TikToking… making sure fans of the single richest Western sport are in the know. We’re no ESPN (yet), but dang if we don’t try hard with our small staff to give you that same level of coverage.
In a September tradition that’s completely an accident, we’re again trying something new. While September was the month we introduced you all to The Team Roping Journal, it’s also when we gave you The Breakaway Roping Journal in 2020, when we started BarrelRacing.com in 2021 and when, in 2022, we launched Women in Rodeo Month—bringing millions of views to female-specific content in rodeo.
I’m not sure how many years it takes for a habit to become tradition, but in the seemingly established tradition of elevating the level of coverage given to women each September, we bring you the Women in Rodeo issue. We didn’t cut back on all the goods for the entire roping population, but we did add two special features to give you added perspective on the role women play in the industry on pages 70 and 80. Former WPRA Roping Director and NFR barrel racer Jolee Jordan puts the finger on the economic pulse of women in rodeo—the money they add, the dollars they generate and a big-picture purview of why they’re worth it. Then on p. 80, longtime roper and WPRA Media Award recipient Julie Mankin covers the diamond anniversary of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and its ever-present and longest-running support of the same women we’re celebrating this month.
We have more planned on our online channels, so follow along. And thanks for sticking with us for these last seven years. Here’s to the next seven.