The Sleeping GIANT of Vegas
Hold on, Folks. If you think that Vegas in December is all about bull riding and rodeo – think again!
The world of team roping has been quietly growing a giant. Yes, Team Roping. World Series Team Roping (WSTR), to be exact. The WSTR had its beginnings in 2006 and is the brainchild of Denny Gentry, who also created and then sold, a numbered team roping system, the USTRC. When Denny thinks, he thinks big. And when Denny plans, he plans to be bigger. In the last ten years, WSTR events has awarded a whopping $54 million dollars to their Finale contestants. In the span of the 2015 season, the World Series Team Roping events awarded $34 million dollars in purses to contestants vying to attend the Vegas Finale. The WSTR Finale is now considered to be the second largest paying equestrian event in the world ($10.5 million)behind the Breeder’s Cup World Championships. In fact, the WSTR Finale has surpassed the payoff of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo for the last three years; awarding $10,535,000 in cold, hard CASH and another $250,000 in prizes – and it all has happened right in plain sight. In December. In Vegas. At the South Point Arena, since 2006.
The 2016 season is a culmination of over 100,000 team members competing at over 100 WSTR Qualifiers nationwide, to get to 3,000 teams that will rope for over a $10 Million Dollar Payout. There are going to be 4 divisions that will pay over $7 Million each and one division that should pay over $2 Million.
Each season welcomes firsts, and new records. 2015 introduced the first back-to-back champion in the same division – Eric Randle, of Moody, Texas; who won the 2014 #10 Division as a Heeler, and then returned in 2015 to win the same division as a Header. Also in 2015: Ralph Carter, of Calera, Oklahoma, split $259,000 in the #9 Finale, setting the record as the oldest WSTR Champion, at 80 years young!
The Cowboy Lifestyle Network will be there in Vegas, watching for what’s to come in 2016 at the World Series Team Roping Finale XI. It’ll be exciting to see the next “first”, the next record, and the next contestants to walk away with over ten and a half million dollars in prize money!
|Division||Total Purse||Champions||Division Prize Money|
|#15||$920,000||Jacob Dagenhart, Statesville, NC – Header/Zack Mabry, Piedmont, AL – Heeler||$132,000|
|#13||$1,560,000||Michael Goodman, Canton, TX – Header/Scott Adrian, Kaufman, TX – Heeler||$248,000|
|#12||$1,864,000||Will O’Quinn, San Antonio, TX – Header/Latigo Petersen, Lipan, TX – Heeler||$320,000|
|#11||$1,886,000||Wallace Greer, Pollack, LA – Header/Rance Gantt, Athens, LA – Heeler||$325,000|
|#10||$2,040,000||Eric Randle, Moody, TX – Header/Zane Edmondson, Cimarron, KS – Heeler||$350,000|
|#9||$1,604,000||Ralph Carter, Calera, OK – Header/Shawn Lyday, Calera, OK – Heeler||$259,000|
|#8||$395,000||Michael Nash, Marshall, TX – Header/Bobby Leflett, Bossier City, LA||$70,600|
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