DEAR ROPER

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Contents -

While it doesn’t hap­pen ev­ery year, it seems the sport of team rop­ing of­fers up a new, some­what tran­scen­dent, tal­ent to the pro­fes­sional level often enough to keep things in­ter­est­ing. In re­cent years, we've seen names like Jade Corkill, Kaleb Drig­gers and Ju­nior Nogueira. This year, it’s look­ing like the name is Wes­ley Thorp. For nearly six years we’ve been see­ing Wes­ley Thorp in na­tional-level re­sults. In 2010, at age 15, he won $65,000 at the United States Team Rop­ing Cham­pi­onships. Last year, he won the #13 and the #15 Shoot-Out there. This year, he cracked out pro­fes­sion­ally on a full-time ba­sis, won Tuc­son and put him­self solidly in the PRCA’s top 5 at the sea­son’s mid­way point. Then, he won the Col­lege Na­tional Fi­nals Rodeo (p. 66) with life­long pal Cole Wheeler. The real tip­ping point for his suc­cess—and the rea­son he’s on our cover—is his $65,000-win with Zac Small at the Bob Feist In­vi­ta­tional Team Rop­ing Classic (p. 58). Those wins alone would make for a solid ca­reer check­list, but Thorp’s got more goals in mind. One of the won­der­ful things about team rop­ing, though, is you don’t have to be a pro­fes­sional to en­joy and be com­pet­i­tive in the sport. Cole Wheeler, who headed for Thorp at the CNFR, hinted that he’s more likely to re­main on the am­a­teur side of the sport. And why not? There’s nearly as much money up for grabs at the ma­jor events and the travel and life­style is much less de­mand­ing. Whether you’re in the sport to teach your chil­dren some­thing about life, en­joy­ing it as a work­ing adult hobby, hop­ing to make it a pro­fes­sional ca­reer, or burn­ing up the pave­ment over Cow­boy Christmas, there’s a wide swath of op­tions avail­able. And we’re here to try to bring you all the news to keep you in­formed and tips to im­prove your game—at any level. Re­gards, Find Us on Face­book

DAN HUBBELL PHOTO

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