Las Vegas Week embraces the sport of Team Roping in Wickenburg, Arizona
Wickenburg, AZ – December 4-12, 2017 – It’s Vegas Week in Wickenburg, and this historical town’s inhabitants and business owners embrace the sport of Team Roping!
Wickenburg, just 54 miles from the hustle and bustle of downtown Phoenix, is named after the adventurer and prospector Henry Wickenburg. Henry’s quest for gold was rewarded through the discovery of the Vulture Mine, and with the help of other miners, he founded this community in 1863.
During this time in December, Wickenburg boasts a permanent population of just over 7,000 souls; but bursts out the seams to well over 20,000 during Vegas Week – and it’s all about Team Roping, Baby!
The “Downtown Arena” and “Rancho Rio” arenas bring in the competitors, ranging from teenagers to senior citizens; from women to men; and from the seemingly rich, to those trying to get rich from the wealth of prize money up for grabs at the various levels of competitive team roping events.
I truly believe that the adventurous spirit of Henry Wickenburg lives on through the influx of team ropers who arrive via everything from first-class, huge living quarter trailers pulled by Freightliners; to single-horse trailers pulled by just a car.
These adventurous people range from the very young to the very old; from man to woman; and from beginner to pro.
While my guy roped in the #13 division, I sat at a picnic table and listened to a young, 11-year-old girl boast of her roping pony.
She soon moved on and was replaced by an 82-year-old man who had spent his younger years as a bull-dogger and bull rider. He stated, “I always thought of team ropers as a bunch of pusses, and now I guess I’m the biggest puss of them all!” He makes his winter home in Wickenburg and has consistently won enough money to help pay his bills.
Then, I ran into past NFR qualifier Terry Selland (Heeler, 1993). He flies back and forth from Denver once a week – specifically to rope and enjoy he and his wife’s Wickenburg condominium.