USTRC Joins Number System with World Series of Team Roping, Introduces New Payout System


Hello Team Ropers,

This morning September 30th, we are announcing that WSTR will be using TRIAD classifications in 2012, just as we did from 2006 to 2009. It was a mutual decision that will be described in detail below, but as part of the deal we continue to offer WSTR memberships but will also accept current USTRC memberships cards to collect winnings at our ropings.

The roping advertisements will read as follows, ” WSTR Membership or USTRC memberships required: You may purchase your 2012 WSTR card for $60 onsite, online, or by calling 505-898-1755. WSTR Memberships are free to ropers 70 and older”.

This announcement in every ad will have no impact on ropers who don’t play the USTRC game. The remainder will still need a WSTR membership to collect winnings. However because we are accepting TRIAD classifications, if you are already a 2012 USTRC member, you will not be required to purchase a WSTR membership to attend WSTR qualifiers. We will continue to offer the benefits of a WSTR membership and you may want to join both, but we are providing this as a money saving service to you.

This arrangement will begin at the New Year ropings. If you show up to any WSTR qualifier without a membership to either organization, you will be required to purchase a WSTR membership before you can rope. We are scrambling to match the USTRC membership year by offering 2012 World Series memberships from this point forward. We weren’t prepared to start renewal this early and it is causing a few complications, and we ask your patience while we get all the procedures worked out!

It was no surprise that the WSTR business model we started with in 2006 did not involve an association membership and especially not classifications! Most of you are familiar that my exhaustion over the problems with classifications was the primary reason we sold USTRC. The WSTR business goal we started with (06 thru 09) worked well in the first four years of operation, however, by the end of 2009 we had ropers refusing to rope with WSTR because we were requiring USTRC membership. Forget all the other minor issues and problems between the two groups, the big problem for us was the exclusive USTRC membership requirement. We just couldn’t live with it.

The dilemma we faced at that point….. should we do the one thing in this business we dislike the most (classifications), or…….should we try to live without a significant percentage (40%)of our customers. So in 2009 we went to USTRC and tried to work out a possible solution to our dilemma. Their business policy of 20 years was still working and they did not want to abandon it just for us. We had no choice but to create a membership organization with classifications as we never even considered trying to operate without 40% of you. We gritted our teeth, developed an IT department, event software, set up a classification office, found a communication tool (Spin To Win), and despite our personal dislike about getting back in the association/classification business, here we are today.

We were unsuccessful again in 2010 in reaching a compromise with USTRC. However, this summer USTRC and WSTR were able to compromise on all the major impediments to operating under one handicap system. For you folks who really get into the rumor stuff and general BS, don’t get carried away with this announcement. This is simply about classifications and the two organizations haven’t jumped into any partnership deals. If there are things that can be mutually beneficial to both groups and the roping customers, then obviously they will happen. As an example, your winnings at WSTR qualifiers will get you to the big show in Vegas and will also count toward the USTRC program. We have no opposition to this at all, as it benefits a significant portion of our ropers and solidifies roper data for classifications.

The WSTR memberships will be powered by TRIAD. Arkie Kiehne will still be involved with classifications, but his role will change. He will have no role in USTRC handicaps but will act as a liaison between WSTR and USTRC in double-checking classifications and appeals for those ropers who have a WSTR membership only. Every effort will be made to make sure that the two organizations agree and have codified classifications. Classifications between the two organizations started to drift apart in 2010 and it wasn’t a good situation for the roping industry. In rare instances where USTRC and WSTR absolutely cannot agree on a classification, an official “EXCEPTIONS” list will be posted online at and with every qualification secretary.

This year World Series of Team Roping had over 11,000 ropers participate in our qualifiers. This agreement is a big deal for the 6,000 ropers who participate in both associations. It will simplify the process for those ropers. Considering these tough economic times, it makes no sense for the two largest associations in the industry to duplicate the same services when the outcome of classifications is the same in 90% of the cases. This lets us get back to focusing our attention on producing the best paying, richest and most elite ropings in World! Thanks for roping with us.

Denny Gentry

(See next page for payout info)


Dear Ropers,

Do you feel like a million dollars? That is exactly what the USTRC is about to bestow on all of its competing members in 2012. Not to feel like a million dollars, but to present all of you collectively with an actual million dollars in cash! This is a game changer, as it far exceeds anything that has ever been done at the USTRC since the invention of the Shoot-Out. The consequences are going to be truly revolutionary.

Why? Because instead of you, the roper, contributing added money to the National Finals Shoot-Out Fund, that money will now be provided solely by the USTRC, and it’s guaranteed to be a minimum of One Million Dollars! From here on out, not one dime of your entry fees will go toward added money at the National Finals of Team Roping (NFTR).

For those of you who are unclear on how huge payouts at the NFTR have been previously generated, here is a quick reminder. A critical aspect of USTRC’s success was to create a National Finals event unsurpassed in the amount of money awarded to its National Champions. That goal has been accomplished, signified by the fact that for the last 11 years, over one million dollars of added money has magnified the incredible purses at the USTRC National Finals of Team Roping.

Until now, a large portion of that money has come from the roper, in the form of a five percent contribution coming out of your entry fees at every USTRC sanctioned roping. Your contributions helped to build the National Finals of Team Roping into the sport’s premier event – the largest and richest team roping in the world. In appreciation for all you’ve done, the USTRC is stepping up to contribute all of the added money, and we guarantee to add one million dollars to the NFTR purse.

This commitment demonstrates how much faith the USTRC has in this sport and its members. But what exactly does this pledge mean to you? It means cash purses at every sanctioned event will dramatically increase. Based on roper contributions in 2011, over $750,000 more cash will be paid out at sanctioned events per season, without you having to lift a financial finger. That’s the new deal, the revolution USTRC is initiating right now.

But the roper is not the only beneficiary. The business of producing team ropings is not an easy road to travel. USTRC producers have a substantial commitment in time, effort and money for every roping they put on, with no guarantee to earn a profit. And ropers, they do HAVE to earn a profit, or they will not be in this business very long. So the USTRC further pledges support of the unsung heroes of our business – the producers.

You may not be aware that USTRC producers have also significantly contributed to the National Finals Shoot-Out Fund. In 2011, producers added over a quarter of a million dollars out of their pocket to the Shoot-Out Fund. In the 2012 season, producers are no longer required to contribute to the Fund. This helps our producers stay in the game so they can continue providing ropers the best productions found anywhere in the sport of team roping.

So, the revolution is upon us. The 2012 season marks a historic juncture in USTRC history as we continue our quest to provide greater value to our members. Now, ropers who cannot attend the Cinch NFTR won’t see their money siphoned off to an event he or she cannot attend. But the NFTR remains intact with the enormous cash purses and nominal entry fees that have made the NFTR the preeminent team roping year after year. Now cash purses at sanctioned events will grow by more than an estimated $750,000. You no longer need a math degree and a Cray computer to figure how much of your entry fees go into the roper’s pot. That number is two-thirds. Period. End of story!

Kirk Bray

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