Team roping qualifier

Ropers from around the southwest descended upon the Socorro Rodeo Complex for a two day competition.

The ARIAT International Sportswear company put on an annual team roping event at the Socorro Rodeo Complex on September 28-29. Part of the World Series of Team Roping, the two day showdown had visitors from all around the southwest region come out to show their skills.

From Portales, New Mexico, Jimmy Trujjillo is a longtime supporter of team roping. He was on sight with his horse Magic competing with multiple partners to take down calf’s.

“It’s always great for the roping community to have a weekend like this,” he said. “I’m here for two days myself so I can only imagine that an event like this is good for business in Socorro. The facilities here are top notch. All I can hope for is to win when my ride comes up.”

Events over the weekend ranged from #8.5 to #14.5 ranked riders with a #15.5 incentive roping and #7.5 buckle roping opening and closing the show respectively. All levels are based on predetermined handicap rankings for each competitor based on current season results. Entries ranged from $150 to $200 depending on their classification with an 80 percent payback for winners. All of those competing had to be 21 years of age or older within the 2019 calendar season.

Tommy Simpson started roping when he was six years old and has been involved with the sport for more than 45 years. He traveled north from Las Cruces to compete with his ten year old horse Grace.

“I love the chance to come out and compete,” he said. “My parents got me into it at a young age and I’ve always loved roping. I’m hoping that I can perform well out here this weekend. All you can do is your best which is what this sport is all about.”

A long time roper from the age of seven, Calvin Taylor is a cattle contractor and supplied the animals used during the roping event. Based out of El Paso, Taylor made the trip to Socorro from Texas with two of his sons competing as well.

“This is second nature for me and my family,” he said. “I would say this is a top 50 event in the nation for roping so we wanted to bring down some quality cattle. We’re a ranching family so that’s what I know. This facility is always a pleasure to bring our cattle to because it is so well run and it’s always a great time here in Socorro.”

Beyond cash payout the top two ropers were awarded specialty “Champion Team Roper” engrained saddles. As of press time final results were not updated, but will be posted on the website soon. The next WSTR qualifier is scheduled for October 5 in Orange, Texas at the Watson Team Roping Invitational.