Dear Team Ropers, Friends, Families,
We understand the growing concern surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) across our communities, and our hearts go out to all those who've been impacted. We have several team ropings scheduled this weekend across several different states, which has prompted many phone calls asking if we will be canceling those events as a result of the COVID-19. This is obviously because of the well-publicized cancelations like Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, NBA and NCAA basketball and other major events that put tens of the thousands of people together. Every business in America is asking themselves: How long can people stay at home, or will people have to go to work and make a living? What happens if they do not develop and test a vaccine within a year or more? And, in earnest, we have asked ourselves: Are we prepared to say that we are shutting down every major team roping in the US for an undetermined period of time?
When it comes to public events, the government is suggesting canceling events that have more than 1,000 people in attendance at one time. In some cases, government agencies will close publicly owned facilities. These are decisions political entities will make.
Team ropings do not fall into that category. At our team ropings, we have a few hundred ropers that come and go over a series of days—nothing close to the traffic of a restaurant or grocery store, or any other business. Roping events are financial ventures (businesses) for our contractors, and we will respect their wishes if they choose to cancel for viability reasons, and we will also continue to support them as they produce events.
We do not expect that all businesses will shut down, and we are not prepared to shut down the 80% of industry we influence at this time. For those of you who choose to participate, we encourage you to do what you have always done: use your common sense. Don’t travel if you are not feeling well or have been around anyone who is sick. The CDC is recommending social distancing, meaning staying 3 to 6 feet away from other people. Consider leaving your personal cheering section home, as you can’t control where the kids go and what they touch. A fist bump might be better than a hand shake, and no handshake at all is best. Yes—keep your hands clean!
We are continuing to monitor the situation, and we will do what it takes to keep our members and our staff safe and healthy. We know the team roping industry is resilient, and we’re encouraged by your enthusiasm to continue to compete. Through the coming months, we’ll keep our heads down to continue planning great events for ropers, and we’ll look forward to your support.
WSTR/USTRC Roping Operations