South Point Qualifier Becomes Largest of the Year!
The process was a little strange but the outcome was good. Sevens days with two qualifiers per day paid ropers $994,800 dollars, and when the Open payout (non-qualifier) is added, this was clearly a Million Dollar WSTR Qualification Event, the largest of the year.
None of us knew we could have this event until the last minute. We found out mid-summer that the Orleans would only be available for two days, prior to the majority of contestants arriving. With the goal of having a qualification event running simultaneously with the Finale, clearly it wasn’t worth the effort. The complication: We were not able to secure any other location. Two weeks before the WSTR Finale, the South Point closed on the purchase of an additional 14 acres to its south. We learned from experience in the old days, building Laughlin from scratch, what it takes in regard to arenas, chutes, cattle, employees and all the things necessary to put up an operable arena on a bare piece of dirt. We originally selected Mathews Land and Cattle for the Orleans because they are a turnkey operation. Because they own their own cattle, trucks, heavy equipment, etc., they were obviously the only ones who could get in and make this happen on short notice. In fact, we just didn’t know any other contractor who would even be willing to purchase footing and take the risk.
We are extremely impressed, as are many ropers, with how it turned out. They ran into a little footing problem the first day, but quickly brought in equipment, pulled out sand and remixed with clay during the first night to get the right mixture for the final 6 days. South Point was also impressed with the activity on the south end of their property. They have indicated that they are contemplating putting in some permanent facilities there for us next year…we are keeping our fingers crossed. We were also impressed with how much pressure the qualifiers pulled off the building and warm up arenas and the reduction of ropers leaving the property to seek out other roping opportunities.
With one year under our belt we should have a better logistical plan for parking, stalls, and movement of vehicles. Thank you to everyone who participated for your understanding. Because there were no lights, the team counts were limited. Our apologies to the hundreds of teams a day that were not able to enter, we hope to have a better system for that next year also. The top and bottom divisions will be the only divisions to allow outside entries; everything else will be closed to Finale contestants only!