Finally, thanks to JP Wickett and Harold Bumgartner and with the willingness of Karl Stressman at the PRCA, the steer ropers get their due: The first ever National Circuit Finals Steer Roping. It'll be in Torrington, Wyoming in their beautiful indoor facility on April 17-18. Only 4 circuits are sending qualifiers this year: Mountain states, Prairie, Texas and Columbia River. But the Badlands Circuit has already scheduled a finals for this Labor Day weekend so 2011 will include the guys from North and South Dakota as well. (The Badlands Finals will be in Deadwood or 7 Down Arena, depending on weather, on Friday and Saturday September 3-4. Thanks to Coy Thompson these finals won't interfere with the Don King Days Roping in Big Horn, scheduled as usual for the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend, September 5-6 this year. I get to announce both...and also the National Circuit Finals as well. I can now die happy!
Thanks to the guys in the Mountain States Circuit for allowing me to be involved in the Badlands Finals and move my allegiance from Sterling, Colorado. Since the first Hyde Merritt Memorial I had the privilege of announcing the Mountain States steer roping finals. Held in Laramie for many years, the committee finally just ran out of new blood, and Chris Anderson, our circuit Steer Roping rep, we landed in Sterling in 2009. I talked to both Troy Tillard and Chris about my switch to the Badlands. They both understood but it was a tough choice. I've been a PRCA member for 35 years and until the Hyde Merritt Memorial asked me to do their finals I was part of the Badlands Circuit since I was born in North Dakota and live in South Dakota. But with no steer roping in our circuit I made the switch. Now with my brother Rick's considerable help, we've go 'trippin' in Deadwood, Belle Fourche and Dickinson. Mandan and Kildeer plus Mobridge have all inquired and Tom Reeved Wild Card Rodeo is planning the event for their dates in Ft Pierre, Sturgis and Pine Ridge this summer. So steer roping is alive and well again in the Badlands Circuit.
I know I've addressed this other reports, but let me say again: despite the rumors to the contrary there are no states where steer roping is illegal. Many states don't have it, but it is not outlawed anywhere.. At one point I wrote that it had never been outlawed, but I found a book from Texas which showed that the large ranchers there got it outlawed to keep their hands from practicing on their steers on the plains.! Otherwise steer roping can be held anywhere there's a committee with the gumption to go back to the old days of rodeo when a good horse and a talented roper were necessary to win any money.
'nuff said. See ya down the road