The National Team Roping’s National Finals IX, presented by Cinch, is slated to run March 4–11, 2023, in Wickenburg, Arizona, at Rancho Rio. Team ropers from all levels can enter up and compete for large payouts, big prizes and loads of family fun.
The NTR National Finals IX hosts team ropers from near and far with great prizes, tons of roping action and fun for the whole family.
“The reason the NTR Finals is so successful is because of the great location and the great time of year—perfect for family vacations,” Ty Yost said. “We don’t really hang our hats on big payouts at the NTR Finals; we just hang our hats on having good-quality, fun ropings. Very few ropings have that kind of spectrum.”
The NTR National Finals kicks off March 4, with RAM Saturday starting with the #8.5 Megabucks followed by the #8.5 RAM Truck Roping, including the Rising Stars Dummy Roping with three age groups.
There are specialty ropings for Legends, VIP Championships for those 21 and over, a #10.5 All-Girl Championship, the #6 2-Steer Championships and the 5-steer Open Championships.
“You can go there and enter a couple of ropings and enjoy winning some money or just having the camaraderie of roping and doing what you love with your fellow ilk, and you’ll still have enough time to go have a steak, because it is run so efficiently,” event announcer Doug VanDyken said.
Each competitor must have a current NTR membership or VIP membership and a current Global Handicap card to compete, all of which can be purchased onsite. Entries close at 8:30 a.m. and roping starts at 9:00 a.m. for the first roping daily.
The NTR Finals IX ushers in the end of the Arizona winter roping season. The event itself will conclude with The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio on Saturday, March 11, after the #7 Championships.
“It’s just kind of the ending—the cap of the season. We changed the date of the sale to be at the end of the big week. When the NTR Finals is done, we will put a big exclamation on that event, the season and the sale for the year.”
Ropers can expect to compete for Scott Thomas trophy saddles, Gist Silversmith trophy buckles, cash prizes and a brand-new RAM truck.
The #8.5 RAM Truck Roping will award a RAM truck to the high point roper and award Gist trophy buckles to first through 10th place in the average.
Average champions in all Legends ropings and Championship ropings, including the #10.5 All-Girl and #11.5 Mixed, will also be awarded fancy Gist trophy buckles. The #6 2-Steer Championships will award 20 Gist trophy buckles to first through 10th in the average.
The #7 Championships on Saturday, March 11, has 10 Scott Thomas trophy saddles to be awarded to the top five places in the average.
Cash prizes will be paid out in each roping average with $20,000 cash added to the two VIP Championships ($10,000 per division).
Everything You Need
If you’re needing more rubber to catch your dallys on or a new rope and can’t make it to town, NRS conveniently has a store onsite by the first arena or stop by the Resistol shop to get your hat shaped or purchase a new hat.
The Coffee Barn has all the coffee and drinks you need to keep you focused during the day or order some Mexican food from El Ranchero for a quick lunch.
There are more pop-up shops, so if you need a new wardrobe, a simple haircut and more, be sure to walk around and look for yourself.
Trailer living for the week is the way to go when at the NTR Finals. With 55 acres of land, Rancho Rio features 50 RV spaces, 138 covered stalls and outdoor pens to make your trip more accommodating. Book your RV spot and stalls at Rancho Rio online at ranchorioaz.com or call 928-684-3150.
Head to town and shop at NRS-Wickenburg to load up on more tack, feed, clothing and more. Take a stroll downtown and check out the local shops and grab a cup of coffee from Prickly Perk.
For more dining options, get Italian food from Quorri’s Pizza, grab a taco or two from El Ranchero or Anita’s Cocina or eat a steak at Charly’s Steakhouse.
For “at-home” cooking nights, Capital Farms offers all the meats and provisions you need to enjoy the comfort of your own rig.
The Horse Sale
The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio, presented by Gold Buckle Beer, held March 11, will close out the NTR Finals week with 65 rope horses consigned by top performance horse trainers and big names in the rodeo world.
“That was one of the first sales where we really legitimized selling rope horses at auction,” Yost said. “We’re getting these horses that the common man didn’t have a shot at before.”
With renowned auctioneer Steve Fiskup on the auction block dropping the gavel, joined by announcers Doug VanDyken and Ferron Lucero, and Katie Yost as secretary, The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio becomes electric under the big white tent.
This year, The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio brings in top horses including two-time World Champion Header Clay Smith’s iconic grade gelding, Marty.
“We have 65 superstar horses, but to have Marty, one of the all-time greatest rope horses in the world, at that auction is going to be a real deal,” Yost said.
“I’ve never really priced Marty before,” Smith said. “I figured, really, there’s no better way to find out what he’s worth than putting him in a sale like that.”
The Horse Sale at Rancho Rio offers a full team roping preview on Friday, March 10, for potential buyers to watch each lot head or heel three times through. A digital catalog is online at ranchorioaz.com.