Producer John Johnson and the Ariat World Series of Team Roping crew is set to bring its most innovative roping yet to Cheyenne, Wyoming, for the 14th edition of The BIG Daddy, now at the Frontier Park.
The roping will kick off with a Gold Buckle Beer Open WSTR Finale qualifier at noon Wednesday, July 15, in an enter-twice, $300-man, progressive format. A #13.5 Slide will follow, making sure everything is working properly for the traditional World Series kick-off Thursday.
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“Last year, we paid out $750,000,” Johnson said. “My goal is eventually for this event to pay out $1 million in cash. I don’t know if this is the year, but we’re getting close. Whether the rodeo is there or not, Cheyenne is a destination spot for anyone who loves the Western way of life. We’ll have more muleys, more steers and more lights than ever before.”
The Daddy will host all of the WSTR’s traditional divisions as special-fee ropings ($250/roper), but will spice things up with everything from a #16.5 and a #15.5 Warm-Up to a #13.5 Super 7 Header with a #12.5 Incentive that paid out some $100,000 in 2019. Johnson will also have a #13.5 Slide Muley Roping Thursday, a #12.5 Slide Muley Roping Friday and a #10.5 Muley Roping Saturday for those who like to test their neck shots. Sunday will finish up with an #8.5 Bonus Roping that will give a trophy saddle to the high-point roper, 20 trophy buckles and more.
“Monday is Ladies Only,” Johnson said. “It will be a Win-And-You’re-In qualifier to the World Championship Rodeo Alliance’s Women’s Rodeo World Championship at the South Point in November, so that will be a really significant deal for the ladies who rope so well. After that, we’ll have an over-40 High-Stakes, $1,000-roper, enter-once roping.”
Finally, the ladies breakaway will be another Win-And-You’re-In qualifier to the WCRA’s Women’s Rodeo World Championship, which will award $750,000 across four disciplines November 3–7.
Ropings across the country have exploded after a nearly 10-week COVID-19 hiatus and Johnson expects the pent-up demand to carry over into July.
“Qualification spots to the Finale are premier. We’ll get people from the East and the West. We’ll get the ranchers, and it will be a great national-level roping.”