May 2007
Ropers Ride High on
George Strait Team Roping
Classic’s Silver Anniversary

Ropers Ride High on George Strait Team Roping Classic’s Silver Anniversary
Article and Photos by Devin and Keri Donnelly of D & K Images
The San Antonio Rose Palace was swarming with cowboys- cowboys with names like Cody Buffalo, Bubba Buckaloo, and Turtle Powell were all kicking up dust as they warmed up their horses.  A cool breeze enveloped the arena.  The bleachers were packed with enthusiastic fans all cheering- ready to take part in one of the most prestigious roping events in the U.S. hosted by country superstar and avid team roper, George Strait.

March 24 and 25 marked the silver anniversary of the George Strait Team Roping Classic (GSTRC).  “The time has gone by so fast,” commented Strait whose team roping classic- which started as a competition for friends and family- has, in its 25 years, become one of the county’s premier open roping events.

GSTRC brings the most accomplished ropers from all over the country to San Antonio.  However, not only does it attract the big names, as an open roping event, teams of all levels may compete alongside each other for a chance at the big winnings.  This year teams competed for a chance at prize money which topped $500,000, two Chevy Silverado Trucks donated by Cavender Chevrolet of Boerne, TX, two Strait X-treme 3-horse trailers by Bruton, Twister saddles and Gist Belt Buckles. 

“Longevity and quality are what Cavender Chevrolet and George Strait stand for,” said Tommy Pipes, General Sales Manager at Cavender Chevrolet, regarding their sponsorship of the GSTRC.  “We are like-minded.  Cavender satisfies its customers and George satisfies his fans.”

Header Nick Sartain of Yukon, OK and heeler Jhett Johnson of Casper, WY walked away first-time winners of the GSTRC with a combined three round score of 16.84.  “We had a good smooth run on a good steer,” said Sartain speaking of their third go.  “We don’t rope together regularly,” he said, “only when you can enter with multiple partners.”  Sartain also competed with Kolyn Vanahn and Johnson roped with Turtle Powell.

Johnson, who missed the fall rodeo season due to an appendectomy, expressed that winning the GSTRC for the first time is, “A terrific feeling.  It’s an amazing boost for my spring rodeo season.”

Brothers Jay (22) and Randon (25) Adams of Logandale, NV came in a close second with a score of 16.98.  The Adams brothers really enjoy competing together.  “It’s good to win with your brother.” Randon said. “Our dad raised us roping together. It was a dream of his.”

“Win, lose, or draw, at the end of the day you still have your brother,” Jay remarked, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

This year, during the final round, ropers had a chance at additional prize money in the “Red Wrapped Challenge” - a $5,000 per round progressive contest sponsored by Attorney Wayne Wright. $20,000 total was up for grabs if ropers were lucky enough to rope one of the randomly selected steers with red wrapped horns.  Cesar de la Cruz and Derek Begay took home $10,000 and set a new GSTRC record with a ride of 3.31 seconds in their second go.
Sponsors who helped make the 2007 George Strait Team Roping Classic a success include: Cavender Chevrolet of Boerne, TX, Bruton Trailers, Attorney Wayne Wright, Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, Tractor Supply Company, Brake Check, Gist Buckles, Classic Ropes, Capital Farm Credit, Wrangler, Justin Boots, and Cactus Ropes.  


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