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Posted on Dec 19, 2016

Finale XI Wrap Up


Finale XI Wrap Up!


What outfit has ever come out and said their Final or Finale event was not up to their expectations? Well, I’m pretty sure that, over the years, we are the only ones who will admit our warts. But this year we won’t be outlining much negative as this Finale was one of the top two or three events we have ever produced.  I’m not sure we can produce a roping event much smoother than this one (although we will try). How about you ropers? Let’s talk about the purse strategy: 3800 contestants and 902 winners. How many horse events or rodeos have you attended in your lifetime possessing a comprehensive payback strategy?  


Of course, great cattle always make roping events seem much better. If you read the story about the cattle in our Finale Program, you will understand why we are so proud of the 800 gathered every year. We thought last years’ cattle were some of the best ever, but nope these were better. Yes, absolutely I’m certain we had a few folks in the #8 who thought they were a touch strong, but nevertheless, as a whole it was the best we can remember.


Historic Week - As I mentioned, the event paid just under $10.5 million, another million was paid at the WSTR qualification ropings, one million to team ropers at the WNFR and by all reports there was over a million dollars paid out at the various jackpots in Arizona and Nevada before you arrived. Certainly, those 12 days represent the most historic week in the history of team roping, roughly $13 million paid to ropers. It’s no secret why the WSTR is now being recognized as an equal entity to the WNFR with Vegas acknowledging the impact the Finale event is having not just in Vegas but throughout the cowboy region.  


The cutters and reiners were at the Finale looking for things they can do to duplicate the World Series formula. We had representatives from three different countries asking questions about how to grow the sport in their countries. In addition, it was pretty hard to ignore the steady flow of television crews and reality TV crews shooting during the event. The event had over 150,000 attendees and sold over 70,000 hotel room nights in Las Vegas. It is truly an awesome feeling to watch our sport flourishing! 


Problems – Outside of few sick ropers and horses, there were very, very, few. We had a TV crew tap into our network and knocked down our event software and webcast at the end of the night Tuesday. Thanks to the South Point IT staff, it was located and fixed before Wednesday morning. Other than that, there was nothing we would characterize as out of the ordinary. Even with our overkill on review for the re-runs, and challenged rulings, the number of reviews were down quite a bit from last year. We attribute this to the quality of the steers. Most of the reruns were spotted without the need to ask. The flaggers set a time limit on the break out clock, which made those fairly easy. We will implement PIP on the video transmission next year where ropers can see how much head start they give the steer in any video. This should cut those challenges down by about half. 


Of course, we don’t want to minimize ropers who were quite adamant that the review team and video analysis missed their rerun, or were wronged when theirs was denied. There were reruns that changed consolation payoffs on two occasions, cross fires that drew denials, one Facebook post that caused a draw out, and a few stolen stalls. But when you consider 15,000 runs and less than a dozen conflicts, it was a pretty amazing week. 


We did fail to point out our yearly disclaimer about how we handle the continual TRIAD classification adjustments that occur prior to the Finale. We forgot twenty percent of the attendees are always first timers. We have an exceptions procedure that allows teams, based on team strength, to retain their entries at the Finale under an exception. This is a one by one analysis.  Nevertheless, when ropers see the roster and teams that exceed the number limit, they occasionally want to protest, claim politics, and they do this especially if they were forced to change partners to continue. We have looked at a lot of potential solutions, but believe there is none better than how we are approaching it now.


The Best Team in Team Roping - When you take into consideration the management of 4000 horses,1400 steers, 3000 trailers, not to mention 3800 ropers and do it on less than a city block, and make it work without a fist fight, it gets pretty mind boggling. That doesn’t come easy. It is impossible for me to explain the hours necessary to make this happen, starting in October each year, and carrying through 14 months until it is presented to you each December by over 92 World Series event employees and the entire staff at the South Point. The hours and sacrifice made by the eight office employees, our Vegas crew, the TV crew, video/photography crew, the various qualification contractors throughout the year can’t be measured. We just cant give them enough credit. Everyone in the team roping world can beat their chest about what they do and how they do it, but the reality is that this is “THE” program everyone TRIES to copy and at the end of the day no one does it better than the WSTR team. That isn’t a boast, that’s just a fact, and there are several millions reasons that can’t be disputed. Let’s count the ways!











Our best goes out to the unprecedented number of ropers who drew out for health, and injuries issues, both human and animal. On behalf of the entire staff we thank you for your participation!

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