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Las Vegas Week embraces the sport of Team Roping in Wickenburg, Arizona

CLN’s Eileen Moss reflects on Vegas Week in Wickenburg, Arizona and how this historical town’s inhabitants and business owners embrace the sport of Team Roping! Read this exclusive behind-the-scenes story that took place during the 2017 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

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 line-up of events at Ty Yost’s β€œRancho Rio Arena”.

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.

Over $100,000 paid to the competitors in the #15! And this is a fairly typical payout of just one of the ropings. Also, note that Tyler Bach, son of past World Champion Allen Bach, is one of the big winners!

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; Β to single-horse trailers pulled by just a car.

Ropers waiting in line.

Many of the trailers are pulled by Freightliner.

This is just one example of a very nice living quarter trailer.

They come by freightliner, and they come by single-horse trailer.

These adventurous people range from the very young to the very old; from man to woman; and from beginner to pro.

This old truck, used as a billboard for the “Downtown Arena”, is a great illustration of what can be found at any of Wickenburg’s roping arenas.

One of the ropers checking the Draw at the “Downtown Arena”.

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.

An 11 year old girl practices on the dummy from her cowpony.

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.

1993 NFR Qualifier Terry Selland, in the heel box.

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Born and raised on a cattle ranch on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwest Montana, Eileen graduated from University of Montana - Western with a Business Degree. She is the mother of two grown children - Sydnee, and Billy Quade; and grandmother of two, Lillian and Rocky Rex. Eileen draws from personal, life experiences; as she has held many positions over the years including heavy equipment operator, member of a survey crew for Independence Mining, veterinary technician, Bud Girl for Anheuser-Busch, PR Director for the Idaho Cowboys Association, feed manager for Midland Bull Test Station in Columbus, Montana, National Event Coordinator for Montana Silversmiths, security guard for the Muskogee Creek Nation One Fire Casino, Marketing Director for the Tulsa RV Ranch, and freelance writer for various publications - including a weekly column for three years in the "Elko Daily Free Press" in Elko, Nevada. She enjoys training barrel horses and singing - and has sung the National Anthem for rodeos such as the Reno Rodeo in Reno, Nevada, the College National Finals, and the New Year's Eve Bull Bash in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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