2016 George Strait Team Roping Classic Highlights

Editor's Note:  Thank You Very much to good friend Shelly Flanagan for the great write up on the 2016 GSTRC.  A big thanks too to Shelly and her buddy Josh Jones for all the great photos from  this year's GSTRC at the San Antonio Rose Palace.

 

The 34th George Strait Team Roping at The Rose Palace in San Antonio, Texas on March 10 and 11th brought about many surprises and enjoyments for the fans and ropers. The entry of 571 teams meant Friday was going to be a long and drawn out day. It got off to a rocky start as the power had troubles coming on and then flickered on and off for nearly an hour. The 10 o’clock start got moved back to 10:15 and several other breaks were taken until the industrial size generator arrive. At this point the roping took another short break for the electricians to reconnect everything and the event pushed forward.

As the event got rolling, and it needed to with so many teams, it was great to see Jake Barnes back, on a horse and roping. When his name was announced as the next up header the crowd gave a great cheer. Unfortunately he and his partners were unable to make it back for the finals on Saturday. Ten rounds of roping with 58 teams in each round made for a very long Friday. The crew handling the steers informed fans that they finally finished the 10th round shortly after one in the morning. Definitely a quick turn-around for the crew, announcers, and team ropers, but no one seemed to mind as the Saturday finals began. Another team who was surprisingly missing on Saturday, Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith failed to qualify for the finals. As the fans went over the day sheet everyone was amazed over this one. However, the top 50 teams came out roping hard and fast and the action was non-stop. When Jade Cockrill and Clay Tryan roped their third steer in 4.19, the fans thought they had a repeat winner at the GSTRC.

 However, Dustin Egusquiza and Kyle Lawrence came through with a 4.39 which jumped them into first place. The final team who could overtake them had the misfortune of missing the steer. As with each GSTRC, many other events happen to support the ropers and others. For the Justin’s Medical Fund, they once again auctioned off the roping shute. George Strait’s grandson, Harvey, assisted in the auction by trying to drive the price up. However, his Grand Daddy stopped it at $9200. Harvey was so “disappointed” that he gave it back to be re-auctioned. An additional $8500 was raised to benefit the Fund. During the awards presentation, Kyle Lawrence was not going to settle for a handshake from George Strait. Nope, he walked up and without hesitation gave him a great big hug. The announcer simply asked over the loud speaker—“Who out there wouldn’t love to get a hug from George Strait?” The crowd let out a very big roar. Additionally, Dustin Eguequiza bought the steer he roped for the winning time of the GSTRC. Despite the rain showers, mud, and power outage delay, the fans who attended the 34th GSTRC were definitely given the opportunity to see tremendous, fast pace, accurate team roping.