Riata Buckle: 5th Richest Roping, Expect More!

Riata Buckle 5th Richest Roping, Expect More!

Earlier this month Equine Network announced that team ropings will have paid $90 million in payoffs on events running through its Global Event Management Software (GEMS). The point here is with more and more ropers investing in high-quality horses to give them an advantage, there was little doubt in our mind that ropers would respond to the $2 million dollar purse. Combining jackpot "TEAM" roping with a stallion incentive definitely worked without the use of helpers and judging. The roping did in fact produce the 5th richest roping in the world, and it appears the 3rd richest Open Roping on its first try.


Prior to the first steer running at the Lazy E, ropers were hunting Riata Buckle horses. Oldtimers can't recall any instance in the cowboy world where anticipation of an event changed the marketplace before the first event ever took place. In the aftermath, the impact of the event was immediate. On AQHA's QData (statistical tracking of earnings) of Ropings Top Sires, Riata is clearly going to make a seismic impact. Hickory Holly Time moved from the 13th all-time leading sire to 3rd all-time in a few short days. Metallic Cat, with offspring earning more than a half dozen big checks, unseated Shining Spark from his long-held top spot. The actual Riata stallion performance summaries are posted on the website,


The full roping results are now posted here on the website and can be seen in time tracker within Global. Very clearly Riata demonstrated the power of recreation ropers and their willingness to participate in futurities and incentives. The top money earner of the event was a #5 lady header, Brooke Wilson, Canyon, TX winning $54,600. Two of the five ropings were won by ladies. Recreational ropers immediately made a statement about their role concerning rope horses in the larger scheme of the horse market and in the global sports scene.

From a roper's perspective, there were a little over 600 teams that split up $2 million in purses, which included the stallion and breeders' share. The Open Futurity paid 800% over entry fees. The #12.5 All-Ages paid about 200% and the rest were 400%. The starting advertisements for the 2023 year will up the ante from $2 million to $2.5 Million guaranteed minimum. However, we hope to be able to announce by the end of next summer, that the guaranteed minimum has risen again.

Concerning the slides— the roping world has been curious, did they work? As it turned out human nature stepped in and there was a very small percentage of #11.5 teams in the #12.5 slides, and the number of #10.5 teams was nearly 4-to-1 over the #9.5 teams and five 8.5 teams. Clearly if heelers could get higher number headers, they took their chances in the upper end of each slide. Even with low 11.5 team counts in the 12.5 Futurity, two #11.5 teams placed, and a team moved from 17th to 9th. The 12.5 All Age it looked like it was going to be super tough with only a 5 second split in the short round, but just as quickly half of all #12.5 teams took no-times in the short round. The last call back at 25th ended up grabbing the last aggregate check. Two #4 headers placed, and three ladies got a check.

The 10.5 Futurity was extremely soft with 42 as the short round cut. This roping ended up paying the 10th check on three head. Plenty of teams with 40 and 50 second times all got large checks. Riata Buckle will change the horse age on #10.5 futurity horses to 6-years-old and younger for 2023. That will be the low slide only, and that should give ropers who don't have a futurity horse a real opportunity to survey the five-year-olds in the 12.5 Futurity.

The roping that surprised everyone was the $400,000 Open Futurity. Top ropers in the country on some outstanding young horses made for some interesting twists. In the short round, five teams roped legs, there were five broken barriers and four misses. And YES, it is true that Colby Lovell and Dakota Kirchenschlager won $102,000 with a leg on steer number four. Look for more teams in this roping next year.

There was a fair turn out in the first Riata breakaway, and it appears that the guaranteed $100,000 was the right dollar amount as the ropings paid roughly 300% of entry fees back to the ladies, which was comparative to the record breaking payback percentages in the team roping. The organizers have vowed to revamp their breakaway format for 2023 for growth and to leverage their payoffs as much as possible. All good news for breakaway ropers.

For 2023, we have two programs we will announce in January. The first is a program that will allow ropers riding Riata horses to get earnings on their horses while attending some of the richest team ropings in the country. The second program will be a national Riata tournament in five divisions that will allow ropers to run at hundreds of thousands of dollars in five divisions. The trick here is that they will be able to do this in every state or every country on the planet throughout the year. More details to come. It looks like we could have a great second year!