Hope you are enjoying the beginnings of a great summer; we see ropings going on everywhere so at a minimum you have lots of opportunities.
We are just getting started with the American Cowboy 125, so there isn't much feedback yet. The early ones are about equal to the #105 AC qualifiers so we are obviously very encouraged on how this will turn out. All of the information about the American Cowboy program is posted at several websites and there are quite a few changes from last year. We created a Silver Bracket providing an opportunity for the 2nd and 3rd place teams to get back into the game. In addition, there is an option for high dollar teams to directly enter the Silver Bracket, which will bring much added money to the playoffs. Playoff? Yes there will be playoffs with matches at the NFfR, the WSTR Finale, Wickenburg, Hamilton, and Sarasota. Ropers in the Northwest who want to participate will have plenty of opportunity in Vegas. Not sure what we are talking about? Go to the website and take look. If you read it and for whatever reason it still does not make sense, please call.
Another change in the works that is News worthy! A lot of people are going to be surprised, but the WSTR has announced that it will be holding its first Open Roping in conjunction with the WSTR Finale XIV. Since there are few qualifiers, the first deadline for the discount entry of $2000/roper will be July 31st, and after July 31st $2250, unless a roper has accumulated earnings or a qualification spot.
Over a decade ago the WSTR offered an Open but it had very little support and over the years it has not been included. Just two years ago WSTR started holding an Open roping at the Finale jackpots. With the top 15 PRCA teams under contract to the National Finals Rodeo the roping was wide open. This continued in 2018 as the Open division outside increased in payoff by 33% compared to the previous year. With this increase it became the fifth largest Open roping in the country, which was a signal that it was time to have an open inside in the main arena. It really has been the piece of the puzzle that was omitted, and we are hopeful it will come together. If for some reason the Open ropers are still reluctant then no foul. Either way there will be offerings for higher numbered ropers at South Point. Yes, there will still be an Open in the outside arena. Obviously, any open roper who enters early to get the discount and later qualifies for the NFR, those fees are fully refundable.
To answer your questions in advance, open ropers will be roping four full rounds and a short round, behind a traditional barrier. Commission will be the same as all other divisions, but in order to get this event off and running the next few years, any and all division title sponsorship monies will become added money. There has already been an offer for the Open Name and Title.