Team ropers converge on Ponoka for world qualifier

Cowboys had a busy weekend at the Calnash Ag Event Centre during the World Series of Team Roping world qualifier.

Cooper Jones qualified to compete at the nationals in Des Moines

Cooper Jones qualified to compete at the nationals in Des Moines

Cowboys had a busy weekend at the Calnash Ag Event Centre during the World Series of Team Roping world qualifier. The best team ropers vied for a chance at making it to the World Series of Team Roping set for the first week of the National Finals Rodeo Dec. 4.

In an effort to keep up interest, Team Roping Canada also held their qualifier for its own finals set for Sept. 26 in Edmonton. Organizer Art Gallais said they draw a large crowd as both qualifiers bring interest from all over the province.

And it was busy, trailers filled the parking lot at the ag event centre and ropers continued to rope cattle all day.

Gallais says the stakes are high to qualify for the World Series as there is $7 million in prize money, partly because teams have to pay $2,000 to enter for a chance to win. Competitors came from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Yukon and the United States and many from around Alberta.

Organizer of the World Series qualifier Ray Lane said 13 teams qualified for the finals in Las Vegas. He said 586 teams competed in Ponoka for the chance of team roping glory.

“It’s the largest World Series team roping event we’ve had in Alberta to date,” explained Lane.

He said the finals is the third highest paid team roping event in the world and draws international competitors.

A team has to earn $5,000 for a chance to make it to the World Series and depending on their skill level, riders will compete at different handicaps.

“To get one (qualifier) is not that easy,” said Gallais.

For Team Roping Canada, Gallais said there was $90,000 in prize money and 18 saddles were given out.

Gallais said demand for the World Series is a global phenomenon as he has seen qualifiers in Europe and Czechoslovakia. There were approximately 350 to 400 ropers, comprising a large number of teams as some riders compete with other partners. The teams competed in each of the events last weekend and organizers moved riders through each class relatively quick. Gallais said a good rate is about 110 to 130 teams per hour.

The next World Series qualifier is set for July 4 and 5 in Claresholm and July 26 and 27 in Medicine Hat.

World Series Team Roping qualifiers:

Division 13:

• First: Klay Rowley and Rocky Ross with a time of 36.71 to win $3408 per man

• Second: Murdock Keith and Wayne Skocdopole, 40.97 to win $2556 per man

Division 12

• First: Nevada Roy andTravis Booth, 35.25 to win $4608 per man

• Second: Dirk McCarroll and Kasper Roy, 38.08 to win $3456 per man

Division 11

• First: Kyle Dalgliesh and Kelly Hiltz, 41.61 to win $4823 per man

• Second: Delvin Stuber and Blair Stroh, 41.63 to win $3445 per man

• Thjird: Daniel Kaiser and Thomas Kaiser, 44.25 to win $2618 per man

Division 10

• First: Kyle Dalgliesh and Warren Boles, 39.35 to win $5502 per man

• Second: Trevor Helmig and Garth Dorin, 47.53 to win $3851 per man

• Third: Steve Scharien and Sam Johnson, 51.72 to win $2935 per man

Division 9

• First: Ivan Lambert and Bob Rice, 35.71, to win $5358 per man

• Second:  Rocky McLeod and Alvin Larocque, 36.47 to win $3750 per man

• Third: Jarrett Dias and Mark Taylor, 49.29, to win $2858 per man