Posted on Jan 19, 2016


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. The $11.4 million paid on the South Point property was off the meter. The comprehensive purse strategy for 2016 turned out to be  3800 contestants and roughly 902 winners ( not counting duplicated winners). 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 on all of their venues from rodeo to trade shows.
Other horse groups 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! 
The number of roping reviews and challenged rulings were down quite a bit from last year. We attribute this to the quality of the steers. Great cattle always make roping events seem much easier. 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.  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. 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 a little more. 
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, and one Facebook post that caused a draw out. But when you consider 15,000 runs and less than a two 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 at this time.
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 can’t give them enough credit. We don’t begrudge the other production teams in the team roping world that take pride in what they do and do a great job, 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 million$ reasons that can’t be disputed.
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!

Countdown to Finale XI