Hello to all USTRC Team Ropers:
From Karl Stressman, President

I can't tell you how excited I am to take the helm with USTRC. The organization finished the 2017 season extremely strong and now with this momentum we will start building a new program that you will like and can support for years to come. We understand that giving you a fun product that pays well is the key for everyone and that will be our goal as we start changing things around. We may not ultimately fire the magic bullet, but we will fire enough bullets to have a few hits.

With the success of the 2017 National Finals it is clear USTRC is an entity that has to remain a fixture in the roping industry. It is also abundantly clear that it is a completely different group of ropers from WSTR, and there is plenty of room for both in the industry. Out of 30,000 ropers that roped in the two associations last year only 1,200 held memberships in both associations. Although the Finals were strong and may well always be strong, the infrastructure of qualifying events will need a little rebuilding and base formats will be changing.

Here are a few of the changes that you will see in the coming season:

  • We will immediately implement age-protected ropings at USTRC qualifiers.
  • Contractors will be given lots of freedom to design their own formats (price, commission, prizes) to fit what is popular in your area, and yes that includes a reduction of commissions.
  • The Junior NFR program will be implemented at all qualifiers with two divisions, Open and #10. We are putting our money where our mouth is with a guarantee of $100,000 added and Gold Buckles to support our teenagers in Vegas.
  • TRIAD will no longer be an entity but just a function of a computer company to analyze roping information. Our goal will be to get an agreement out of all the roping associations on how we will handle what the statistics say and how we can make the analysis more responsive to all the associations that use TRIAD at their local events.
  • The WSTR is implementing a national tournament that is predicted to produce a million dollar payoff with an initial $150 entry fee. USTRC will also have a chance to produce some of these events with certain contractors. We have submitted a request that the first year of the Tournament Finals be held in OKC.

A top priority in the next few weeks will concern how TRIAD analyzes teenagers' handicaps. The speed of roping divisions was pretty much the buzz at the Finals. Some say that the soft score, hand picked cattle, and size of the ropings affected the Finals speed. We will not argue that handicaps had a ton to do with the speed, specifically the youngsters. If you believe anything else, then think about the challenge roping. It was built on the odds of roping four steers and not on the basis of time. How often could you beat the challenge if there was NO barrier? Based on the odds of roping four steers there is no question that speed should not be an issue regardless of the set up, if handicaps are correct. We will be working hard to address the classification issue.

Gold Plus Switches to the Key Card - the Gold Plus was built to give older ropers protection from kids in some divisions. The age-protected associations have pretty well destroyed these ropings at our qualifiers and basically destroyed the Gold Plus. But don't worry we will offer a value-added program we hope to have up and running in February, that will be the KEY Card. It will be the "key" to lots of things. Here is just one example of how that card will be used: This year USTRC ropers will need to win $1,000 sometime during the year to qualify for each NFTR shoot-out. However, KEY card members will be able to get NFTR Shootouts for each $1,000 SPENT! With direct NFTR entries costing an extra $100 per roper from non-qualified teams, it won't take very much for this card to be extremely valuable. This will also support the roping customers who support the qualifying ropings. You will have an opportunity to upgrade your basic USTRC membership when that card becomes available. So feel free to buy your USTRC membership today and you can upgrade when the program officially launches.

2018 Membership: There is no change on USTRC memberships for 2018 from last year. The WSTR or USTRC will continue to be accepted at either associations events, however, USTRC accumulated earning for qualification events are only counted for USTRC members from date of purchase. Renewing is easy. You can print the 2018 membership form and mail it in, renew on-line, renew over the phone (505-899-1870), or at the events. For those who have already purchased a 2018 membership, you are current on the computer and your address information has been sent to the Team Roping Journal. Follow the link (Apple App Store or Google Play Store) to the USTRC app that will show your membership card electronically on your phone. The plastic cards will be mailed in the next ten days for those of you who like to have something you can hold.

We are excited at the prospects for a great roping season and hope you will join us! Happy New Year!

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