Payson Event Center Recreation Specialist Charlene Hunt believes an upcoming team roping and breakaway clinic might be just the boost competitors of all ages and skill levels need to reach the next level.
"They are going to be excellent clinics taught by two very good ropers," she said.
The instructors for the clinics, which will be held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29, are the husband and wife roping team of Clint and Teri Jones.
The two have been competing in Rim Country rodeos and ropings for the last 10 years. Teri has also competed on the Women's Professional Rodeo Association and Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association circuits.
Clint recently competed in the Gracie Haught Benefit Team Roping and has made appearances in the San Antonio Stock and Show Rodeo and Prescott Frontier Days.
The two have roped as a team with Teri working as the header and Clint the heeler.
When Teri competes in all-women rodeos, she usually is the heeler.
For the upcoming clinics, Clint and Teri are welcoming ropers of all skill levels, but they must own their own horse and have basic riding skills.
The curriculum of the clinics, Teri said, "will depend of the skill levels of the entrants."
The two hope to teach both basic and advanced techniques and strategies of both heading and heeling.
They also plan to teach breakaway roping as it is done in high school, college and some amateur rodeos.
For those unfamiliar with breakaway roping it is similar to tie-down roping in that the roper must throw her rope in a loop around a calf's neck.
However, rather than tie the calf down with a pigging string, the rope is tied to the saddle horn with a string. When the calf hits the end of the rope, the rope is pulled taught and the string breaks.
The breaking of the string marks the end of the run and the fastest run wins.
For the clinics, entrants will be roping "Hot Heels" roping dummies or mechanical calves sometimes pulled by an ATV.
"Hot Heels makes it a little bit more enticing for beginners because some get intimidated trying to rope calves," Hunt said.
The registration fee for the four clinics is $125 and is limited to the first 20 ropers who sign up.
Hunt's advice is to "register now because limited space is available."
Registration may be completed at the parks office located at Green Valley Park.
For more information, call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.