A pair of team roping clinics is expected to be among the most popular of the town’s myriad of spring and summer recreational offerings scheduled at the Payson Event Center.
The turnout for two similar clinics held months ago has PEC coordinator Charlene Hunt making that prediction.
“The fall 2008 clinic was a huge success and filled up fast,” she said. “We had students from 10 to 50-plus (years of age), some who had never picked up a rope and some who were veterans.”
So, her advice to those who would like to enter the spring clinics is, “Don’t delay registering, you’ll have a blast.”
Clinic Session I will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. April 7, 14, 21 and 28. Clinic Session II is on the agenda for 6 to 8 p.m. May 5, 12, 19 and 26. Both will be held in the event center.
The difference in the two sessions is that in Session I, all roping will be done on mechanical steers called “Hot Heels.” Session II will feature roping live cattle.
The curriculum of the two sessions will feature both heading and heeling.
Although both sessions are open to ropers from beginning to advanced skills, Hunt reasons that novices can improve skills in the first session well enough to enjoy success in Session II with live cattle.
“In the second session, we will have some slow roping steers for the beginners,” she said. “Participants, however, must have basic riding skills and provide their own horse.”
Returning from the fall sessions to host the clinics is the renowned Rim Country husband and wife roping team of Clint and Teri James.
Both have experience on the professional rodeo circuits and are frequent competitors in local team ropings and other Western events.
At the fall session, Teri — also a barrel racer — tutored young girls in the skills of breakaway roping, “so they could use their newly learned skills in youth rodeos,” Hunt said.
Several of those will be held at PEC in the upcoming months including the Arizona High School Rodeo Finals, June 9 to 13; Junior High Rodeo Finals, May 2-3; and Mogollon Montoneras gymkhanas, April 25, May 30 and June 27.
Also, 4-H equestrian competitions will be held throughout the summer beginning April 13, 17 and 18.
For the more advanced ropers, upcoming competitions include the Gary Hardt Memorial Rodeo, May 15-16; Father’s Day Roping, June 21; and a town team roping on May 29.
“There will be plenty of (opportunities) to use the skills learned in the roping clinics,” Hunt said.
The registration fee for Session I of the upcoming team roping clinic is $125 and for Session II it is $150.
Since the two sessions are fund-raisers for the Payson Event Center, vouchers or credit cards will not be accepted. For more information, call Hunt at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.