Equine Network, the industry leader in equine events and media, announced today that it has reached an alliance agreement with Riata Buckle, LLC., a stallion incentive program that seeks to unify stallion owners, mare owners, breeders and, for the first time ever, team ropers of every ability level.
“We have a long-term vision for combining the rope-horse industry with the team roping industry in a way that touches every corner of our business,” Equine Network CEO Tom Winsor said. “We began some time ago priming our publications with stories focusing on the horses and their pedigrees, not to mention the owners who built the programs. We expanded by providing stallion incentive programs and futurities exposure through our streaming services and horse training emphasis through Roping.com, and by providing marketing services to all horse breeders.”
The Riata Buckle is bringing stallion incentive and futurity roping to 98% of ropers who have never had access to these horse programs, aligning with the Equine Network’s goal of expanding the rope horse industry. Riata Buckle brings with it the industry’s top innovators, pairing with the Equine Network’s specialized group of media professionals and, importantly, its membership, technology and production teams with the United States Team Roping Championships, Ariat World Series of Team Roping, National Team Roping and National Team Roping League.
“The approach we are taking with Riata Buckle puts team roping horses in the spotlight,” Riata Buckle operating partner Denny Gentry said. “The AQHA with all their horse information and the Equine Network with their roper information will be necessary to make this work. This agreement will let us merge everyday jackpot team ropers with stallion owners, breeders, and trainers. I believe it will ultimately change the entire horse industry.”
Riata requested and received AQHA’s support last summer, aligning both the Equine Network and Riata Buckle with AQHA’s QData system.
“The mutual benefit is undeniable, and we are extremely excited to bring mainstream team roping earnings into horse records,” Karl Stressman, AQHA Chief Executive Officer said.
By using the USTRC, WSTR, NTR and NTRL, the new Riata Buckle partnership will provide earnings tracking on 80% of team ropings in the U.S. and Canada. This will allow the tens of millions of dollars of roping earnings paid out annually to flow into the databases, for the first time proving—on paper—the value of a great rope horse and solidifying rope horses as the Western industry’s top earners. This will also allow breeders to further refine what pedigree crosses produce the best results.
“We want to do this by supporting existing events across the country and beyond,” Gentry said. “By utilizing Equine Network’s team roping associations, we’ll be offering ropers instant opportunities with their horses without changing their roping habits at all.”
The program will kick off during the 2023 season, with more details to be announced.