Submitted to the Las Vegas Optic
Oklahoma City, Okla. — Local team ropers Travis Regensberg and Kenny Zamora of Las Vegas were big winners Tuesday at the Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping, which wrapped up Sunday in Oklahoma City.
Produced by the United States Team Roping Championships, the National Finals of Team Roping is the premier event of team roping and hosted more than 6,700 teams from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and South America.
Regensburg and Zamora roped four steers in a time of 33.83 seconds, besting 395 other teams in the No. 12 Gold Plus division to capture fifth place. The duo received $17,000 of the $220,500 purse, along with Gist Silversmith buckles. A total of $4.2 million in cash and $625,000 in prizes are being awarded in the 12 event divisions.
Zamora, and partner Ralph E. Williams of Skiatook, Okla., roped four steers in a time of 33.29 seconds to capture fourth place. The duo received $18,900 of the $220,500 purse, along with buckles.
Team roping is a timed event that requires a team effort. A team is made up of a “header” and a “heeler.” The header’s job is to catch the steer around the horns, and then set it up by turning it across the arena. The heeler then rides in and ropes the steer around both hind legs. The clock is stopped when the steer is secured between both ropers and their horses are facing each other.
Much like in the sport of golf, ropers are handicapped or receive a classification rating based on their skill level and competitive ability.
Ropers can be classified from a No. 1 to a No. 10, depending on their roping position and ability. The added total of both roping partners handicaps determines their division eligibility. For example, if the division is a No. 11, the total rating for both ropers cannot equal more than 11, with some divisions requiring a handicap floor.