As you pack your trailers to head South—or if you’re sitting around putting in tank heaters and dreaming of the day when you can—there are roping producers across the state of Arizona gathering sets of steers to make sure your time in the Grand Canyon State is well spent.
Designers are working on arena banners to give the roping pens of the state that WOW factor. Restaurants are stockpiling margarita mix and cold beer and lots of delicious food—from the best dang Mexican food you can get to steaks and desserts to die for. From Wickenburg to Queen Creek to Scottsdale to Buckeye and well beyond, the entire state is preparing to roll out the red carpet for team ropers.
There’s nowhere quite like Arizona in the winter—as our cover model Derrick Begay shares on the final page of the issue, as well. It’s like you step into an alternate universe, where time doesn’t quite matter—unless it’s for the start of a jackpot—and work-week worries melt away. Checking the weather isn’t usually absolutely necessary, and you can ride to your buddy’s arena just down the road (like the guys on page 6, who rope at the Myers’ place).
Some of our staff will be bouncing around arenas in Arizona in the lead-up to the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale right up the road in Las Vegas. For me, you’ll find me there in February and March for the rope horse futurities—something you’ll learn quite a bit about on page 40 in Kendra Santos’ look into the A&C Racing and Roping operation.
Arizona’s already proven its resilience through global crises (looking at you, 2020), so we’ll just plan on having the time of our lives down there this winter, and we sure hope you will, too.