Priefert Team Roping World Series visits Graham
The Priefert World Series of Team Roping qualifying event is back at the Young County Arena this weekend. The roping action started Thursday morning and runs through Sunday. Cowboys from across the country will gather in Graham to qualify for the team roping finals and attempt to make some money.
There are 2,300 to 2,500 teams that are expected to compete over the weekend in Graham. The estimated total payout for the weekend is between $500,000 and $600,000, Tony Fellows with the Young County Arena said.
This is the third year that the Priefert World Series of Team Roping has visited Graham.
“It’s just a great economic impact for the city,” Fellows said. “You are looking at 3,000 to 5,000 people through here. A lot of them will be in RVs; a lot of them will stay in motels. Some of them come and go, but it’s a big hit for the city this weekend.”
There are not many locals competing at the arena this weekend, but there have been locals in the past that have competed at the finals in Las Vegas. The payout at the finals is estimated to be around $10 million.
The cowboys competing at the Young County Arena this weekend come from all around the country, and compete around the team roping circuit to qualify for the finals and also to make money at the individual qualifiers. Good ropers can make $10,000 to 25,000 over a weekend, Fellows said.
“It’s a pretty big deal. They have so many of these ropings all over the United States,” Fellows said. “(They) try to qualify at one of them. A lot of people go to a bunch of different ones because they want to ensure their chance of making it.”
The team roping starts at 8 a.m. and goes as long as needed. Thursday’s action started with open ropers. The ropers are classified from a scale of two to 10 with 10 being the highest. People from different cities will ultimately partner up in order to reach the goal of competing at the highest level, Fellows said.
The general public is encouraged to come out to the arena and to catch some of the action.
The 2016 Priefert World Series of Team Roping finale will kickoff on Dec. 5, at South Point Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.