The sport of team roping was born on the open plains. Two cowboys jamming the breeze across an endless prairie in pursuit of a 1,500-pound Longhorn evokes images of a bygone era.
Sure, today’s team roping still has the basics: two men, two horse chasing a bovine. But today, it’s more likely to be a 500-pound Corriente in a 150’ x 300’ pen.
For years, the venerable Clem McSpadden rekindled the tradition with his Bushyhead Roping, where the cowboys roped Corrientes in the pasture, followed by a short round where the top ropers came back to rope those 1,500-pound Longhorns. As McSpadden died, he made his wife, Donna, promise to continue the event. She did for one year, but last year decided not to after living through the immense amount of work it took to pull off.
After a series of negotiations and networking, roping producer Mackey Tully is bringing Bushyhead back.
"There’s a lot of history on this thing," Tully said. "During the pasture roping, it’s a 101-foot score. The pasture is just a big old wide-open range and the cowboys park the trailers along side of it and camp out. They have a bonus steer and the top five come back and rope 1,500-pound Longhorns. It’s a two- or three-day event. It’s a fun, fun deal. We did change up one thing to it. It used to be capped at a No. 7. We opened it to an open roping with a No. 11 incentive. I’m trying to draw some names to it. There’s always a Calcutta, there’s four rounds to it. The first day you’ll run two steers and the second day the top 75 come back and rope for the short round."
The other change is the actual location. While the event will keep the Bushyhead name, it has moved to the Brewster Ranch in nearby Bristow, Okla. Additionally, Tully will host an open roping in an indoor arena on the facility, a World Series Qualifier, a barrel race and plenty of camping, food and trail riding.
"People around here got real excited that it’s coming back," Tully said. "It’s Clem’s event and we’re going to try to keep things as similar as he had it. We’re going to try to respect they way they did things and the history there and try to embrace it."
For more, check out www.brewsterranch.com.