DEAR ROPER

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A note from Chelsea Shaf­fer

I’ve been in and out of Ari­zona in the win­ter for how-to photo shoots, and I’ve got to say—I’m jeal­ous of those of you who get to spend your win­ter months in the desert each year. As the winds are al­ready swoop­ing over the Rocky Moun­tains and across the sandy grass­lands here on Colorado’s Front Range, I’m pulling blan­kets and sheets on and off horses ev­ery morn­ing and night and say­ing “See ya in Ve­gas” to friends who are al­ready plan­ning their de­par­tures to Wick­en­burg and Cave Creek.

Con­tribut­ing ed­i­tor Julie Mankin is a vet­eran of win­ters in the Grand Canyon State, and on page 88 she tells you ev­ery­thing you need to know about rop­ing and stay­ing there, whether this is your first or 50th trip. Plus, our Com­pet­i­tive Edge sec­tion kicks off on page 64 with tips that will sharpen up your rop­ing for the daily jack­pots at Ran­cho Rio or the once-amonth in­door rop­ing club in Al­berta.

While win­ters in Ari­zona are sure a dream come true, the weather across the South­east this fall has been more like a night­mare. Hur­ri­canes Har­vey and Irma rav­aged Texas and Florida, and luck­ily, cow­boys were there to step in to save the day. Wran­gler Na­tional Fi­nals header Justin Davis (page 64) loaded up his boat and went home to home, pulling peo­ple from the flood wa­ters, while World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing header Na­tional Cham- pion (page 44) got a-horse­back as fast as he could to help save live­stock.

Make sure you sit down with a cup of cof­fee and read about two more re­mark­able men—Wes­ley Glover, who is re­cov­er­ing from a dou­ble lung trans­plant, (page 82) and WT Rid­ings, a Korean War vet­eran who, at 81, is still win­ning rop­ings (page 86).

If you’re read­ing this in the pas­sen­ger seat on the way to your win­ter house in Ari­zona, I’d like to think this is­sue will keep you turn­ing pages un­til you pull into your drive­way lined with Saguaro cacti. And as al­ways, if you find some­thing a lit­tle prickly or some­thing that re­ally makes your day, let me know.

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