Breaking it Down by Speed Williams – September 2020


    The All Star Team Roping Finals

    Last year my wife and kids went to the All Star Finals at the Lazy E and had a great time. I was unable to go as I had lessons scheduled. My wife said it was one of the more enjoyable ropings they had been to. The Lazy E has been around a long time and remains a state of the art and one of the nicest facilities available, along with a friendly atmosphere. I was told by my family the All Star finals would be put on my calendar for this year. Tim Victory, the producer, called and asked if Rich and I would be interested in matching Jake and Clay. Though I haven’t been competing for the last few years due to injuries, I told him I was up for whatever the rest of them wanted to do.

    In the six head match Rich ended up getting a front foot in his loop on the second steer. You can’t afford to give Jake and Clay any advantage. They won the six head match. Beforehand I suggested we have two one-head matches with the fastest time a winner. That way one team got to go first and fourth and the other team got to go second and third. We did salvage winning the fastest time. They were 5.4 and we came back on the last one and were 5.2.

    Most people don’t realize how much respect Rich and I have for Jake and Clay. One of the things they used to do was practice on fresh mulies. I continue that practice to this day. They were one of the first teams I studied that was versatile enough where both the header or heeler could do whatever was necessary to win in various situations. Often, we’ll see a team where one end is solid and seldom makes mistakes, and their partner is a gambler and takes quick and risky shots. Both Jake and Clay could play both parts. Historically if you see a team of gamblers, they’ve rarely been successful for any length of time. One partner on the team has to catch and not make mistakes.

    We had a booth set up at the All Star Finals for the Speed Trainer. I don’t remember a time when it was used more at an event. It was next to the goat pen and there were kids on it all day long. They had matches and roped to their heart’s content. It was quite entertaining.

    Last year my kids didn’t have a lot of success at the All Star Finals. In the last roping, the #9, Gabe almost broke even on entry fees. Hali has really struggled with her #6 heading card and I’ve tried to convince her to heel more. The ropings were structured much like the old USTRC Finals. The preliminaries would have 200 to 500 teams with $200 entry fees. Then in the Shoot-Outs you had a chance to win $35,000 for $500 to $600 fees. Gabe has been catching a lot but not winning much. He roped very well at the All Star Finals and he won a little over $26,000. He rode Rat and Shotgun there.

    I did have one complaint by the time it was over. I was visiting with Tim on Sunday night before the Open. I told him the days were pretty long and we didn’t get to eat decent dinners nor get enough sleep. I also had clients up there roping and was running back and forth between arenas. He assured me that next year they’re going to add three days to the event to help cut down on the long days.

    The atmosphere and ropings were like I remember the USTRC Finals in the old days. It was a lot of fun and very enjoyable. Big preliminaries and good Shoot Outs. If you’ve never been, you might put it on your calendar for next year. There are not many opportunities for the kids to have a chance to win big money. Lots of ropings now days have age restrictions of 21. I’m very thankful for this event. They have lots of roping and some World Series qualifiers.

    The weather was exceptionally nice for August in Oklahoma. We have the Extreme Finals this weekend and then the USTRC Finals coming up which will be in Ft. Worth this year. With the location and date changes I hope the USTRC Finals has a good turnout. My kids will be roping there this year.

    What’s new with me: I honestly do not know how I ever survived teaching lessons without a cover over the arena. Thanks to Coastal Steel and Chan Peters I’m able to teach in relative comfort. It was 108 yesterday and we had a 12 MPH breeze and it was bearable with the air flow. Now, when you rode out from under the roof, it was plenty hot.

    Teaching is something I love and enjoying doing. We start out roping steers and then during video playback we break it down to see where the weaknesses are. Afterwards we get on the Speed Trainer and work on those things. Then we rope the Hot Heels to work on you and your horse. Then it’s back roping steers. I had a couple of young men here for a few days that had been roping quite a while. Both were very handy with a rope but did not use their left hand or feet at all. The transformation they made in just three days was phenomenal. I wish all my clients could progress that fast. The video does not lie and can be brutal sometimes. I look forward to seeing where my clients and my kids can take their roping in the future.


    1. Rob Akoury here and I just wanted to say that I can oddly enough hear your voice as I read this. Glad all is well with you and your family


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