Jingle Bells: Thorp’s Strategy to Winning to 2019 Jingle Bell Classic
Wesley Thorp breaks down his and Cody Snow's short round run at the 2019 Jingle Bell Classic Open roping.

Cody Snow (right) and Wesley Thorp (left) receiving their buckles for their win at the 2019 Jingle Bell Classic Open roping. Olie’s Images


Short round at the 2019 Jingle Bell Classic Open roping in Stephenville, Texas


7.93 seconds


Won the average with a time of 34.53 seconds on five head, worth $7,000

Olie’s Images

a) Setup:

It was at Lonestar in Stephenville, [Texas]. They were pretty fresh steers—kind of stronger. It was enter four times, which normally makes it pretty tough. It kind of was tough until the end. The short round was falling apart. We were high call and there were a lot of teams close to us that ended up kind of messing up, so it made it to where we had to be nine-something to win it.

[Read: 5 Tips for a Smooth Entry and Smooth Finish with Wesley Thorp] 

[Read: Freeze Frame with Wesley Thorp]

b) The Wall:

I wanted to keep the steer straight, so I just took a normal start. But when I saw him go left I kind of tried to hustle a little bit more. I waited until I really saw him go left and then I tried to get farther down the arena because I knew that when the steer turned, his back end was going to go farther down the arena than normal. I tried to get a couple of strides farther down the arena, all the way around that steer. That way, I could get to a good spot whenever he did turn to catch him legal. I had a decent shot at him, so I tried to overrun the corner just a little bit, but be patient turning in. I tried to go farther down the arena, but still stay far enough back so I didn’t crowd myself. When the steer hit, he took one hop down the arena toward the wall and then I had one more hop before he got completely on the wall. I just tried to keep my shoulders back and keep my body position patient, that way, I could have plenty of power to bring my loop to the feet.

c) Lexus:

I’m on Lex. He is very forgiving. He keeps his shoulders up good. He doesn’t cut in and he’s super free so if I don’t get a good shot, he stays moving. He’s really patient with the stop—he doesn’t take anything away so I can really place my loop good in any kind of situation.

d) Cody:

Wesley Thorp’s Vital Stats

When that steer went left, he roped him probably about almost a coil back—maybe a little less. He did a good job at getting as close as he could and instead of taking a normal approach of stepping his horse up, he really came straight back. That way, it gave us more arena. It allowed that steer to not go as much into the wall as he could have. He really tried to come back and then head straight back to the head box, but still keep the steer pulling. That way, he didn’t waste momentum.

[Listen: The Short Score BONUS: Round 7 Winners Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp]

e) Steer:

That steer actually ran really hard and went straight left. Cody just got out at the barrier. We knew we had a little bit of time, but he headed him good and he was almost going to be on the wall—which he kind of was. When he hit, Cody just put him on the end of it and I just tried to rope him before he got all the way on the wall. That’s kind of how the run played out anyway.

[Read: The BFI Team Roping Win with Wesley Thorp]

f) Mind Set:

The short round, we were last and there were probably three or four more teams within a second and one team was within a half-a-second. They’re all kind of more aggressive ropers, so I thought we were going to probably need to be some kind of six to win it, which was a pretty good run for that set up. As we watched, it was just unraveling—a lot of weird things happened. One header’s horse got stuck and couldn’t really get the steer pulled. They ended up being longer and two headers missed. It really just unfolded to where the team that was winning it, we had probably almost two seconds on so it made it to where we had a lot more time than planned, which was good because that steer was not the greatest steer to have to be six on.

[Listen: The Short Score BONUS: 2019 World Champions Clay Smith and Wesley Thorp]

[Read: SPLIT: 2019 PRCA Team Roping World Champions Clay Smith and Wesley Thorp]

g) Loop:

He was coming back up the wall and I was to the inside a little bit, so I really just wanted to make sure I kept my shoulder back and placed my loop where he was. It doesn’t really look like I was too far to the inside right there, but it sure felt like it. I really just wanted to make sure I had good loop placement and really follow through to my spot to make it come all the way through.

[Read: No Wasted Motion with Wesley Thorp]

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