Note from Chelsea Shaffer
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.