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Ridin' and ropin': Eighth annual Wrangler TRC qualifier here this weekend

Photo courtesy / Buffalo City Tourism Foundation Two ropers attempt to secure a steer during the 2011 Wrangler Team Roping Championship qualifier at the Jamestown Rodeo Arena on the north end of the Stutsman County Fairgrounds.

Between 500 and 700 ropers are expected to compete this weekend at the Wrangler Team Roping Championship qualifier event at the Jamestown Rodeo Arena.

The arena gates open at noon Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday, with roping events starting at 1 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

The Jamestown qualifier, known as the "North Dakota Big Daddy," is toward the end of the Wrangler TRC tour season, according to Dennis Tryan, the tour's owner.

"We're a few weeks from being done for the season," he said.

The tour final is Oct. 1-6 at the Metra Park Arena, Billings, Mont.

Team roping is a sport where the steer is released first, then two riders attempt to stop it. One rider goes for the front of steer and tries to rope the head or horns, while the second rider tries to rope the back feet.

Tryan said these are timed events where penalties are assessed for things like getting a head start on the steer or only roping one foot.

The Jamestown event is important because the "ropers," the people who compete in tour events, need to get as many winning points as possible before the tour wraps up.

Ropers compete for cash and prizes like trophy saddles, buckles, boots, hats, jackets and sponsorships from different gear and rope providers.

Tryan said this is the eighth year for the Jamestown qualifier and it has grown in popularity with the ropers since it started.

"We get people stopping by to watch the different events," he said.

Wrangler TRC headquarters is in Billings, Mont. Tryan said he started as a roper in the business, then moved up to producing roping events locally in Montana. He started Wrangler TRC because he saw a need for bringing a professional atmosphere to amateur team roping events.

"I saw a need for an association that covered the north from Minnesota to the Pacific Coast, down to Nevada," he said.

Wrangler TRC also gives amateurs a chance to win prizes like ropes, saddles and corporate sponsorships.

Go to www.wrangler for more information about the series and the Jamestown event.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at