Czech Republic Qualifier
Just got back from the Czech Republic qualifier and happy to be home. For the past 5 years I have been going over there to do schools and for the past 3 years we have been doing the Midwestern European Qualifier. In the past I was going over to break in the steers and putting together a good set of steers for the level of ropers there. This year they decided that they would do it themselves. They bought a set of horned steers from Hungary that were very weak and did not have much run in them. I moved the chute forward and got it as balanced as I could. I had some of my Italian boys with me and we were cutting steers and resting them then putting them back in the herd. No hot shots so it was difficult to load the steers and/or encourage them out. Anyway we did the best we could and got it done. If you take a look at the time sheets, the times and number of catches were way up from the previous years.
We did get a really good turnout this year. We had 118 teams versus 75 in 2015. The ropers and familys traveled a long way to come rope and we finally got all of the ropers from that part of Europe which in the past was a problem. It was cold and rained all through the 2nd round and there was no place for the ropers or spectators to get out of the weather. The ropers were little disappointed about the facility but were still happy to be roping. These ropers enjoy getting together and making new friends and seeing old ones. We also would like to have ropers from the USA over for European vacations and a little roping. Now we have the horses and venues up and running. We can get these people into quality hotels and restruants like we are doing here in Italy. Everyone is happy when they eat well, sleep well and also have the chance to enjoy a nice glass of wine.
I think we have been very successful in getting roping started and growing in that part of the world and that was my objective from the begining. There are many new roping facility's in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the next couple years I would like to promote as much as possible a roping in Germany and France. We have the first French Qualifier in June and the first in Germany in July. Both in great facility's. The German Qualifier will draw ropers from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy and France being more of a central location in eastern Germany. The French Qualifier will draw ropers from Italy, Germany, Belgium and hopefully Spain in the Future. After we get those going I would like to stay at home, take care of my farm and put on ropings and lessons here at our place in Italy which has become a first class trainng facility that has produced some good ropers. Italian ropers have already won $24.000 in WSTR events in the USA this spring.
We know that it has taken a while to get up to standards with the qualifiers but finally this Sept. at the Qualifier here in Italy we are going to have a 11, 10, 9, 8. All 4 steer progressive ropings .In 2017 all European WSTR qualifier will go to this format.