PICK­ING A

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Stop The Clock -

A team rop­ing part­ner­ship is a lot like a mar­riage, and there are times when you spend more time with your partner than your fam­ily. You need to be com­pat­i­ble with your partner, and most im­por­tantly in­side the arena. It’s nice to be good friends, too, but you can rope with some­one you don’t par­tic­u­larly want to hang out with, if you can win to­gether. I’ve been for­tu­nate enough to rope with the best—Clay (O’Brien Cooper), Leo (Ca­mar­illo), Allen (Bach), Walt (Woodard) and sev­eral more. You don’t al­ways know on pa­per how a part­ner­ship will go. Speed Wil­liams and Clay, as one ex­am­ple, were a great team on pa­per. But they didn’t win as much as they would have wanted to, for what­ever rea­son. Clay and I had a lot of good suc­cess to­gether, and the foun­da­tion of our team was work ethic. There are a lot of rea­sons teams quit rop­ing to­gether, be it lack of horse­power on ei­ther side, one guy not hold­ing up his end on tak­ing care of busi­ness or what­ever. It’s a funny phe­nom­e­non that so often hap­pens that as soon as a team de­cides to call it quits they re­ally go to win­ning. It seems like that hap­pens be­cause the pres­sure’s off of the one who was strug­gling. I like hav­ing things in com­mon with my partner, like sim­i­lar val­ues, but it doesn’t mat­ter who you rope with—if you’re not pay­ing the bills there’s go­ing to be ten­sion and, even­tu­ally, a change. I think rop­ing styles have a big part in pick­ing a partner. Your styles need to com­ple­ment each other and fit. It’s like dat­ing. You need to date some­one to find out what they’re re­ally like. In rop­ing, you need to see how it goes at the rop­ings and the rodeos. In the end, you’ll judge your rop­ing re­la­tion­ship on your team’s suc­cess.

PHIL DOYLE PHOTO

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