Note from Chelsea Shaf­fer

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Departments - Chelsea

Through­out my ca­reer, the sto­ries be­hind great horses have been my fa­vorite touch-point to the rop­ing in­dus­try. Look­ing back, a love for horses and their sto­ries is what sent me down this path to be­gin with. The rop­ers and their sto­ries came much, much later.

So when As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor Kaitlin Gus­tave and I sat down to search the pedi­grees of all of the horses that helped their jock­eys qual­ify for this year’s Wran­gler NFR in the head­ing and heel­ing, I got a lit­tle car­ried away. The resulting pedi­gree anal­y­sis is on page 96 of this is­sue, and the pedi­grees of 32 of the best horses to have ever stretched a steer are fea­tured on team­rop­ingjour­nal.com.

I’m not alone in this love for great horses, and I know that be­cause you all clicked on the link to their pedi­grees more than any other story we posted on­line in all of 2018. I like to think it’s be­cause horse sto­ries are pure—not filled with ego or priv­i­lege. Horses be­come great be­cause they don’t know any bet­ter, be­cause they can’t help but be great. They aren’t driven by any fi­nan­cial mo­tives, not bur­dened by any feel­ings of in­ad­e­quacy. Their sto­ries bring peo­ple to­gether, build em­pires, and make dreams come true. And be­hind each horse are hun­dreds more sto­ries of each sire and dam and breeder and pro­gram and per­son who be­lieved in a mare or a stud that even­tu­ally led to that great horse. I’m glad the sto­ries go on and on, be­cause I get to keep writ­ing them.

Each mem­ber of our staff is driven by a love for writ­ing about some as­pect of this sport, and that’s why I can say I’m proud of ev­ery is­sue we crank out. This month, along with our jam-packed De­cem­ber is­sue, we put to­gether the pro­gram for Ariat’s World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing Fi­nale—an ex­tra 60 pages of team rop­ing con­tent. That’s not all, though. We tried some­thing new and cre­ated our first Ari­zona Guide, that will pop up at are­nas and hot spots across the Val­ley of the Sun. Cre­at­ing a brand new print prod­uct is rare in 2018, but be­cause team rop­ing is still so alive and well, we were able to give you yet an­other 60 pages of team rop­ing cov­er­age to bet­ter your rop­ing life.

I couldn’t be prouder of the staff at The Team Rop­ing Jour­nal this month and ev­ery month, and I hope you’ll feel the same af­ter flipping through this is­sue.

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