Teams taking on cattle in Wrangler roping championshipsThe cattle are coming. This weekend Jamestown is hosting the Wrangler Team Roping Championships. Close to 1,000 teams of two will test their skills to corral the horned critters.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The cattle are coming.
This weekend Jamestown is hosting the Wrangler Team Roping Championships. Close to 1,000 teams of two will test their skills to corral the horned critters.
“Basically they’re trained to run from the roping shoot to the end gate and hopefully you can get them before they get to the end,” said Marlyn Bertsch, president of the James River Rodeo Committee.
Wrangler holds roping finals across the region and each event is a qualifier for the final held in Billings, Mont., in the fall.
“We started this in 2005 ... Since then this is the biggest one in an eight-state area,” Bertsch said.
The free event will run from about 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday at the James River Rodeo Grounds, located on the Stutsman County Fairgrounds.
Each two-man team chases a 450- to 600-pound yearling steer, and one ropes the horns while the other ropes the hind legs. Bertsch said a good time is 6 seconds but many contestants will probably be in the 10- to 12-second time range.
Ropers will range in age from 10 years old to contestants in their 70s, and will include men and women. Anyone interested can still sign up at the event and rope later in the day.
At the Wrangler events riders compete for everything from jeans to ropes to saddles and, of course, the cash prizes, which could be up to $4,000 in some categories.
While riders compete for the top cash prize, Jamestown businesses will also cash in.
“It’s very good for the community because we’re bringing in contestants that are eating in the restaurants, filling their fuel, and staying in hotels,” Bertsch said.
He said he expects about 140 cattle to be brought in Friday night, and each contestant will bring along a horse or two as well.
Contestants will likely come from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Montana.
“We’re excited about it, it’s always been a good event,” said Dennis Tryan, president of the Wrangler Team Roping Championships. “We like the town of Jamestown and the members of the James River Rodeo club.”
Tryan said there will also be a professional announcer for the event from Bozeman, Mont.
“You can expect to see a lot of fast horses and good ropers, and expect a good lunch because the senior center is running that again,” Bertsch said.
The James River Rodeo and the Wrangler Team Roping Championships are the two biggest concession fundraising events for the James River Senior and Community Center — which is well-known for its burgers and pulled pork sandwiches.
“They make the best burgers in the country — they’re great,” Bertsch said.
He said anyone interested can stop by for a bite to eat and watch some quality roping.
But for Bertsch it all comes back to helping Jamestown economically.
“That’s the biggest thing is it’s helping out all our businesses,” he said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by e-mail at email@example.com