We hope you enjoy reading these In the Cornersegments as much as we do. You can never stop learning and each person you meet has something new to share. Below, read Cade Swor’s advice that can be carried over into everything you do in life.
“As a young high school competitor, my greatest challenge was consistency. Sometimes I would try so hard to win that I would mess up and make a mistake. I wanted to win so bad that I didn’t allow myself to go make the best run I could make. As a freshman and sophomore, I was thinking so much about winning that I forgot to do my job. I had to learn to focus on the steps that make the run and not the outcome of the run. As I got older I was able to do the fundamentals more consistently and therefore I have been able to win more. The only way that I matured and got better was by practicing making the same run every day. I never let the situation change my approach. I tried to go make the same run, every time, no matter what and that built up my muscle memory enough to where I was consistent.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given, and the best advice I could ever give, is to do it for the love of the game. The more you rope for the win or the victory or because it’s become your livelihood, you forget that the reason you did it at the high school rodeos, or the college rodeos is because you loved it and not for any other reason. Do it because you love roping calves, not because you feel like you have to or just because you want to win.”
Rattler Rope sat down with calf roper, Marty Yates, to talk about what he thought was important in order to be successful inside and outside of the arena.
“One of my favorite sayings is you only get out what you put in. By that I mean you only reap reward for how much time and work you put into something, whether it is roping, barrel racing, or something that doesn’t even have anything to do with rodeo. Your drive and determination is what will give you the opportunity to fulfill your dreams. If you want to be great in what you do, you can’t just hope to be better; you have to get down there, think about it, and make yourself do the right thing to be better. The preparation you put in will come out when the chips are down and it’s your time to shine. You never know when that time may be, so there is no better time to start working at what you want then right now. Nothing worth having ever comes easy!”
For Contact: Hannah Haugen Public Relations Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
You may have seen them, you may have heard about them…and yes the rumor is true! Rattler Rope proudly introduces the Spitfire, the first rope ever made specifically for the sport of breakaway roping!
The Spitfire was designed and engineered with a customized process using technologically advanced fibers. The result provides a combination of loop body and tip feel that has never been available before. The Spitfire gives ropers the confidence to pull off supersonic catches literally right out of the box. The shell is super smooth so the rope feeds fast and easy, but it slams shut sharp, fast, clean, and tight around the target. Breakaway is sport where even a hundredth of a second makes the difference in a win. The Spitfire’s vivid color is easily noticed going around the neck and breaking from the horn. The loop stays open letting the roper be aggressive and deliver out of the very first swing. The weighted tip helps ropers guide the loop to the target. Simply put, the Spitfire was designed to allows the roper to be aggressive and feel their rope. With the Spitfire, ropers can reach and pull off bell collar shots from further back of the target, which is so necessary with the level of competition competing in the sport today.
Until now, breakaway ropers had to choose to rope with a either a calf rope or team rope, but these events are very different from breakaway roping! Rattler saw the opportunity to create something very needed in the fast growing sport of professional breakaway roping. With the help of WPRA World Champions, Jackie Crawford and Kelsie Chace, the Spitfire is made to be the go-to reaching rope that snaps fast around the neck. Due to its proprietary construction, the Spitfire can’t be compared to sizing of poly or nylon ropes. It is available in the sizes 50/S Pro and 60/S Pro, both at 28′ long. The 50/S Pro will be lighter in weight than the 60/s Pro and they both have a feel you have to swing for yourself!
The sport of breakaway is on the brink of new horizons with new opportunities being sanctioned in RFD-TV’s The American and the WCRA. Never before has the breakaway roper had more opportunity to win championships and big prize money. At Rattler, we believe the sport has more than earned its right to have its own rope! We are excited to be apart of the new chapter of this sport and are proud to provide a tool we are confident will win many championships to come!
Tibba Smith winning Cody Ohl’s roping in Sweetwater, TX and her first RFD-TV American Semi-Finals Qualification using the Spitfire.
The Spitfire is shipping to Rattler Rope dealers and will also be available in the Rattler Rope booth in Cowboy Christmas December 6-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center as well as the NRS booth at the South Point. For more information please visit http://www.rattlerrope.com.
“The sport of breakaway is changing rapidly and becoming more and more competitive, therefore we have been needing a rope designed specifically for our competition needs. The Spitfire is the exact rope for the breakaway roper has been needing.”-Jackie Crawford, 18X WPRA World Champion
“The ropes were a big hit yesterday [referring to the Phil Fifer Memorial]!. Lots of people swung them and said how good they felt. Jackie [Crawford] won 2nd & I won 4th. The flagger stopped Jackie and myself and told us how easy they where to see- he wished every girl would use them!” –Tibba Smith, Reserve WPRA World Champion, 2X Windy Ryon Champion
“Just finished a set of calves with this rope, I’m in love with it. I tested its weight and durability to stay open by reaching all I had at one and wow I am impressed!” –Kaytlyn Miller, Multiple NHSRA National Champion
“I love the new rope [the Spitfire], I need to order some more! I cracked it out at the roping [2018 Doka Ranch Breakaway Roping] today and it felt good! –Justine Doka, INFR World Champion, WCRA Chicago Finalist
“I love the way it feels!” –Brooke McLemore, 2017 Ultimate Calf Roping Finals Champion
“We love the feel and how it stayed open and was easy to swing! The color is beautiful, we can’t wait to get one!”-Kate and Abby Hepper, NHSFR Finalists
For contact: Hannah Haugen, Public Relations Coordinator, email@example.com
Rattler Rope asked Kelsie Chace what she thought separates good from great inside of the arena. Her response was no surprise.
Horsemanship…this can make or break you. I see a lot of kids that can rope really, really well. But I don’t see a lot of kids that ride their horses well. Horsemanship is something that I work on every single day, but too many people overlook it and only focus on the roping part. Are you confident in your horse every time that you back in the box? Roping is hard enough as it is, so I want to make sure I keep it as simple as I can, and to do that I have to have great horses, and keep them that way. Get help with your horsemanship. Learn how to ride your horse better, and practice it. If you can’t do something right in the practice pen, you can’t expect to go and do it right when your money is up. Don’t cheat yourself; learn how to ride and rope in every situation, not just the ones that are easy for you. Take the time to be a good horseman/woman and your roping will only get better. Never stop learning and enjoy the process!!
We asked Rattler Rope athlete, Billie Jack Saebens, what advice he could offer to a high school version of himself. This is what he had to say:
If I could give advice to a high school version of myself, I would say respect your horse. If you have a great one, treat him like it, and come to realize they won’t be around forever. It’s easy to take a good horse for granted and run too many on them, or not to take all the steps to care for them at the level they need to be cared for. Don’t wait until you’re without that great horse to come to these realizations.
If you don’t have a good horse, do everything in your power to get one. Horses are everything especially nowadays when everyone ropes so good, the great horses easily separate themselves from the good horses. Take the time to learn how to keep them healthy, sound, and working. It will pay off greatly in the long run if you’re going into the rodeo business. There are guys that rope good around every corner, but there aren’t as many people making good horses. They are fewer and farther between than ever, so take the time to learn the horsemanship to make one or keep the one you have working.
The guys that have long successful careers are the ones that can keep the good horses.
If you watched the Championship Shootout at RodeoHouston and have a beating pulse, you got excited for Matt Sherwood and Walt Woodard the moment they looked up at the jumbotron at and realized they had bested Cody Snow and Wesley Thorp’s fast time by .1 setting the new arena record with a 4.0. They got by the last team to rope, arguably one of the best teams in the world, Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira, and were crowned the 2018 RodeoHouston team roping champions.
At the cowboys’ favorite rodeo, March Madness takes on a meaning all its own at RodeoHouston. With a unique bracket-style format, to make it to Saturday’s Championship Shootout, ropers have at least roped five steers and potentially six through their Super Series, Semi-Finals, and the Wildcard round on the super stage of NRG stadium that has a staggering capacity of 72,220 people. Each round is a clean slate, and it is a battle until there is one team left standing. We are accustomed to hearing about the “Cinderella story” basketball teams and the underdogs taking the win in the tournament and team roping is shaping up to have their own Cinderella team in 2018 with the likes of Matt Sherwood and Walt Woodard.
Coming off a big win at the start of 2018 at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Walt and Matt have resumes a mile long, and no, they aren’t the underdogs by any means. Nevertheless, this team is unique in a field of ropers and a sport where there are new young guns winning every day.
This veteran team is making a resurgence and breaking records.
In fact, Walt nearly has more NFR qualifications than years Cody Snow or Wesley Thorp have been alive. Known for being an expert roper, horseman, clinician, and motivational speaker, on any given day at his training center in Stephenville, TX he might be giving lessons to a beginning roper or practicing with an NFR qualifier. He’s played an instrumental role in a lot of the up and coming NFR qualifiers’ careers that he is now competing against. He’s just that guy, although he isn’t eager to take the credit for it.
“I don’t want to be looked at as their teacher or their mentor. I feed off of them. We’re all doing the same thing. We’re all watching Wesley Thorp, “the Brazilian”, and Corkill and seeing what they are doing. There are so many guys out there that can compete at this high of a level and I’m just working on what I can control to compete at my best and stay in that top 5% winning percentage.”
“Age is just a number” is truly Walt’s mentality, and it shows. We all remember his world championship in 2007, he won in his 50’s his first time out of retirement. Now competing in his 60’s; he’s more ready than ever and feels like he is fully competing and functioning at a high level.
“One thing I love about sports is there is no prejudice…and I despise prejudice. In sports, race, color, size, age…none of it matters. There is a line drawn in the sand here and there and whoever gets there first wins.”
This doesn’t mean Walt hasn’t had to change his game plan over the years. The team roping landscape looks a little different than in 1975 when he first bought his card. The steers today are smaller and the times are faster.
In his post-win interview with Boyd Polhamus, Boyd specifically asked him what changes he has made in his swing, with the general consensus being he had to adjust to a faster swing with a lighter rope to be as quick as you have to win money in today’s ropings. Walt has always been a GT4 guy. Previously he used a GTR full MH and now has transitioned to a GT4 Lite HM.
If you’ve watched Walt rope this year you would have to notice his beautiful blue roan gelding, “Blueberry”. If you ask Walt, this is the best horse he has ever ridden, and Walt has been around great horses and horsemen his entire life.
“He is perfect, he never makes a mistake. I got him when he was a yearling and we halter broke him at my place. No one has touched him except me and my son [Travis] and we trained him here. He is just amazing, he even cocks his head and watches the headers nod every time.”
Blueberry is a 10-year-old gelding with Sunfrost lineage and gets the utmost care at the Woodard ranch. Walt lopes and exercises him a mile and a half every day and uses him where he counts, you won’t see Blueberry at the weekly jackpots around Erath county. When he practices on him it’s in an extremely controlled environment, he ropes six steers and then drags the pen. There won’t even be a footprint in the arena when he is ready to rope again. He gives credit to this regimen and mindset to years of experience.
“When the ground isn’t good, barrel racers won’t run their horse. I’m a little that way with Blueberry. If it’s muddy at Cheyenne, ya-you have to ride him. But Pendleton…I won’t ever ride that horse there and it’s one of my favorite rodeos. I just won’t with him.”
What’s next for Sherwood and Woodard?
Well, they are hitting the road and making a run for Vegas for an NFR qualification and we wish nothing but the best of luck and hope to see them there.
Hannah Haugen, Public Relations Coordinator
We asked Rattler Rope athlete and 17x WPRA World Champion, Jackie Hobbs-Crawford, what she felt was one of the most important aspects of roping the youth of the sport needed to make a priority of. Unsurprisingly, she chose horsemanship.
“If you have been in the market for a rope horse, you understand the great ones are hard to come by, and the market price has changed to reflect that. The importance of having good horsemanship is now more than ever. Horses are a direct reflection of their riders’ and one of the #1 rules you need to remember is when a horse does something wrong in the arena, stop and think about if they were reacting to what you asked them to do. To stay at the top of your game, preserving and taking the best care of your horse is going to be key to their career longevity.”