Team roping entries and payoffs have been robust this spring. The percentage of qualified teams entering our Finales between October and the end of March have been on track with previous years. There are a lot of contractors questioning whether or not the impact from the oil and gas downturn will start having its way within the roping community. While WSTR hasn’t felt the impact yet, some other contractors are experiencing 15% to 20% decreases compared to last year. We will keep an optimistic outlook and hope for the best in the next 12 months, and appreciate those who have stuck with us despite the issues our economy is facing. The price of roping cattle is slowly settling and coming back into the “normal” range, although it is a bit unclear what the new “normal” range might be. Clearly the roping cattle prices are not dropping as fast as the feeder prices, so we are assuming that is a supply/demand issue.
We appreciate the support team ropers have given and are giving to the WSTR program this year. The May 31st Legacy deadline is right around the corner and stalls and hotels really tighten up after those entries are received. We strongly encourage you to take care of your business just as soon as possible after qualifying. The only ropers receiving the discount on entry fees are May 31st Legacy ropers and qualified teams. Unfortunately we still have teams missing their deadlines and then protesting the loss of their discounts.
We are very pleased to announce some new WSTR sponsors for this season. We welcome Yeti Coolers, National Ropers Supply, and Nutrena Feeds.
•Yeti Coolers did a successful market test within the roping industry last year and decided they need to be involved with team roping and will be a great partner. We are very excited to be the team roping organization they picked.
•National Ropers Supply has handled the retail sales for most of our sponsors and our logo goods at the Finale for the past six seasons. NRS has decided to make it official this year as the official catalogue of the WSTR, greatly improving the availability of WSTR logo’d goods.
•Nutrena, who is absolutely the world leader in horse nutrition, has also joined WSTR. We are so proud to be affiliated with this great company.
Finally in closing, we want to give our best to Al and Robin Benson as they move from Texas back to Al’s home state of Minnesota. Al officially retired from Fast Back Ropes two months ago, but not before he converted everyone at the WSTR office and a lot of other ropers to the new, very popular Centerfire rope. We wish Al and Robin and their little girl our best in their new endeavors and thank them for their support and friendship over the years. Welcome to Coy Upchurch the new GM at Fast Back.
In closing, we are very excited about our eleventh year and, as usual, hope to have a few new twists for you when you hit Vegas. Have a great summer and good luck with your roping!