ROP­ERS,

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Competitive Edge - Karl Stress­man

By the time you read this col­umn the 2018 Na­tional Fi­nals of Team Rop­ing will be in the books and I will have had the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the US­TRC from a whole new per­spec­tive—and hope­fully I’ve had a chance to meet and talk with some of you.

Speak­ing of per­spec­tive, as I re­flect on the num­ber of con­ver­sa­tions that I’ve had this last few months with you—the rop­ers, con­trac­tors and fans of our sport—it amazes me how many dif­fer­ent opin­ions that peo­ple have shared and how dif­fer­ent those opin­ions can be. Most of these con­ver­sa­tions be­gin with, “You know what needs to hap­pen at the US­TRC?” I then get that per­son’s opin­ion on the state of the team rop­ing in­dus­try. What seems the most amaz­ing is the amount of in­for­ma­tion that some peo­ple have and the amount of that in­for­ma­tion that is fac­tual. One sub­ject that has been dis­cussed over and over are the cur­rent and fu­ture changes. Now that the NFTR is com­pleted the US­TRC team is eval­u­at­ing what worked and what needs more at­ten­tion. You can bet that we will make all the ad­just­ments and be back to you in early Jan­uary 2019. We cer­tainly un­der­stand that the US­TRC needs to ex­pand to greater rop­ings and next year the US­TRC needs to put the cool fac­tor back into our as­so­ci­a­tion.

Over this past sea­son my per­spec­tive has cer­tainly changed. Be­ing a team roper my­self I used to see the team rop­ing world from the out­side in—now I have seen it from the in­side out and I am lov­ing ev­ery minute! What I have now are new ex­pec­ta­tions for the very bright and ex­cit­ing things to come. The US­TRC team needs your in­put! We care about get­ting it right! I don’t be­lieve we need any more prac­tice, we have had all the time we need! Now we need ac­tion and we need to lis­ten to ideas and put more pos­i­tive ideas into play.

We kicked off the sea­son with the Ju­nior NFR pro­gram for the kids and then in­tro­duced the Ex­clu­sives which is the US­TRC’s ver­sion of the age-pro­tected rop­ings. Ba­si­cally, work­ing both age groups. As usual, new ideas can take time to be ac­cepted, but the Ex­clu­sives are gain­ing ground and we ex­pect to see con­tin­ued growth in the 2019 sea­son. We are ex­cited about the Ju­nior Team Rop­ing at the Wran­gler Na­tional Fi­nals and we are in the plan­ning stages for the event’s fu­ture. One idea is to count the win­ning of the teenage rop­ers from ALL the US­TRC team rop­ings. The youth need the op­por­tu­nity to be able to com­pete as in­ex­pen­sively as pos­si­ble.

Oc­cas­sion­ally ideas need time to be ac­cepted. One of the new ini­tia­tives was the in­tro­duc­tion of the Key Card. You need to think of it more like a Costco Card with the dis­counts for mem­bers and less like a Gold credit card that en­ti­tles you to “stuff.” As the year went on we had the chance to talk about the Key Card to more of you. I be­lieve that it will con­tinue to gain ac­cep­tance and pop­u­lar­ity as real dis­counts are re­al­ized.

In clos­ing I want to take the op­por­tu­nity to thank each of you for your sup­port, your pa­tience and your loy­alty to the US­TRC as we con­tinue to strive to ex­pand this great brand and Amer­ica’s Cow­boy Sport. I hope you had great Fi­nals! We’ll see you down the road next sea­son.

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