Roping Better with Cory Petska: Loop Placement

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Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, 2008, Round 4: Roping with Travis Tryan

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Clay reached at him and got him around the neck and gave me a pretty big switch. That's in the corner and that steer was swinging. I set my bottom strand down and set a gate right beside him and let him swing into it. I was worried about them flagging me out.

When I rope them like that, it feels like they might be a crossfire. When I go back and look at it in video, it's not even close. Right there in the picture, I think that steer's first stride was just behind him where that dirt is flying up, so I got him on the one leaving.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, 2008, Round 8 (World Record-Tying Run of 3.5 seconds):

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The picture below is a little wilder. I lost sight of this steer. My loop is still big and you can tell I followed through and it's in the hock, but it was a little more of a chance shot. I've stepped by a little bit, my loop is still good, but you can tell it's later in the week because things are wilder.

We were the next-to-last team out. There had been a 3.9, a couple 3.8s and right in front of us, Riley and Brady Minor were 3.6. So it was either you tie the world (and arena) record, or you don't win the round. The steer stepped into me, my horse was stopped and going backwards, so I was taking a big chance of throwing with my horse stopped, because it takes away all of your follow-through.

reeley Independence Stampede, 2009: Roping with Clay Tryan

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Clay reached at him and got him around the neck and gave me a pretty big switch. That's in the corner and that steer was swinging. I set my bottom strand down and set a gate right beside him and let him swing into it. I was worried about them flagging me out.

When I rope them like that, it feels like they might be a crossfire. When I go back and look at it in video, it's not even close. Right there in the picture, I think that steer's first stride was just behind him where that dirt is flying up, so I got him on the one leaving.

Guymon Pioneer Days, 2010: Roping with Turtle Powell

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When you get to Guymon, there are two keys: Making sure your horse is on the inside and moving forward, and getting your bottom strand to the ground. If you get your bottom strand on the ground, there's nothing they can do to get away from it. When you try to rope them muleys in the air, that's when you get in a bind.

At a jackpot or where the steers are wild and crazy, you want your horse to be moving with you and the steer. That gives you more time to follow through and get your bottom strand on the ground. If that horse is moving forward, it's a lot easier to follow through. Most of the time you free your horses up real good in practice the week before a roping like this. That's the part of loop placement: if your horse stays moving with them, you can set a big trap, but if your horse is going to stop, that's when you start roping them in the air.

California Rodeo Salinas, 2009: Roping with Clay Tryan

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This is the short round. We were high team back. We had another good one and Clay did a real good job. All I did was try to make sure I caught. From the angle of the picture, it looks like I got by. On the shot I was actually on his side where I could see his legs and I took one more swing over him and set me a big trap and make sure I did my job and cleaned him up.

Most of the time when you get that curl, you've got your bottom strand on the ground and the top strand on the hocks. If your rope is placed right, it should have enough momentum for that tip to come around and up and over the main part of your loop and it locks it so the steer can't get out of it.

San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, 2010: Roping with Clay Tryan

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As soon as I can see their legs going down the arena, I try to time up with their left hock, inside leg. Right there in the corner, for some reason on this one, I lost my timing. So all I did was open up and set a big loop down there. Most of the time when I lose timing but still catch them, it'll be with the tip and all the rest of the rope will be on the right side of them.

Justin Boots Finale, Omaha, 2009: Roping with Clay Tryan

This was our first steer in Omaha. Clay was a little late and the steer stepped over there to the left. Because he was the first steer, I really got over there to the left, took an extra swing over him and I just wanted to make sure we caught him and got him down.

My heeling is pretty simple: I watch their legs going down the arena, I swing in time with them and make sure I get to the inside. If you swing in time with the steer and follow through, you're going to catch.

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