Twenty-three years ago we very naively stated that our goal was to promote and market the sport of team roping. It sounded good for a young organization to say something noble like that and if things worked out.... well who knows. As fate would have it the very first USTRC Finals was historic, and had that "smell and feel" that we all understood was the start of something very special. Team roping has come a long way since then, and to say that the 2012 World Series of Team Roping had that same historic impact would be an understatement. Four teams at this event won the largest four checks in the history of team roping. This most certainly is, up to this point, not just the richest, but the most important team roping ever held.
Just for the record, we weren't the only ones who understood its importance. Everyone in Las Vegas was aware that the World Series of Team Roping had economically caught up to the National Finals Rodeo. Never before have the PRCA announcers proclaimed nightly that the National finals would be paying $6.1 Million. Why suddenly was that important to announce? While those announcements were being made, the single event record, the NFR team roping, came tumbling down December 15th, 2012. We blew that 1.5 million dollar number away with our #10 division at $1.738 Million. At the end of the day our $6.03 Million fell just short of the PRCA $6.12 number but only temporarily.
The Breeders' Cup is completely out of reach and we have no chance of catching the Dubai World Cup, the Sheiks will just add a few million with the stroke of a pen. And to be honest on the basis of sheer volume of races worldwide and the U.S., overall we can't come close to competing with the horse racing industry. Equestrian performance sports are another matter completely, the team roping industry is most definitely number one and the most important equine recreation sport in the world. Outside of those two big races, the NFR is the only horse related event in the world that approaches our little jackpot in Vegas. The other horse disciplines that use to make the condescending jokes about team ropers, are now the recipients of our condescending grins at their puny payouts and ribbons. Their only defense is to join us and each year more and more do.It is unfortunate that the PRCA and our fellow cowboys currently possess the only remaining record that we have the ability to break. In 2013 we are adding a stand alone #9 division to our formats. If the #9 doesn't get us into the $7 Million range, we open the second arena at South Point in 2014. Unless the fiscal cliff or some other Washington driven wreck occurs during the next 11 months, we are excited about the prospect that we will be standing alone in horseland as the "third" richest horse event in the world before this year is over. The entire horse complex is rather small, but the world stage is large. All of you should feel very gratified that team roping is only a small step away from standing alone atop the largest mountain on the planet. So in closing I would characterize this point in time as half-way thru the short round, you are all cordially invited to join in the celebration.