Sunday, December 27, 2009

4 100th of an Inch

That was the rain amount last night in Oakdale, CA. 

It was cold, and a bit windy this morning.  It was certainly easy to watch the horses from the window, and drink another cup of coffee.   But that's not what the Camarillo's do.  Just call them and ask "What are you doing today?" Expect the same response that you might have gotten in April, July or October.  "Ropin'!  Its what we do!".   If you aren't happy with your end of year standings, or maybe that heading horse is cheating off to the left too much be honest with yourself and ask "what did I do to improve my roping during the holiday week?"  One of the best things you can do is a) keep roping and b) get some help.  For most, other than the pros getting ready for Colorado and Texas rodeos in January, the recreational roper has a bit of time off.  For those that want to do better in 2010, now is the time to go back to the practice pen and rope like you did when you were trying to make or win the finals (at any level - high school, am or pro) in 2009. 

There was time to watch the Eagles beat the Broncos in the last 7 seconds and sqwash Denver's hope for the playoffs.  There was time to trim a few bushes or clean up the Christmas decorations, and YES! there was time to rope today.

If you would like to rope better in 2010 than you did in 2009 be honest with yourself and determine if you did what you could today to improve your chances.  Did you throw 50 loops at a dummy?  Did you saddle up and ride to "leg up" your horse?  Did you rope the Hot Heels and then go after 2 flights of live steers? 

If you were in Oakdale, California today, with Jerold Camarillo you would have witnessed 4 horses saddled and later ridden.  You would have seen circles in the arena where the Hot Heels roping dummy made trips in front of the boxes for headers and heelers to practice their timing and delivery.  You would have seen two flights of steers leave the chute, running down a rain soaked arena just dry enough to ride in, and you would have seen the ropers that want to be better in 2010 than they were in 2009 dirty up a rope!

If you watched TV and never threw a loop today, then you weren't roping with Leo in Arizona or Jerold in California today.

That's fine, but don't expect to go to the pay window unless you put down that coffee, saddle that  horse and rope and ride in the wind a bit this winter.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Roping Barriers

I’d like to make one thing clear. Because a majority of the teams have gone out, the battle is now about day-money. Meaning, there are 13 teams trying to be 3.0 and two teams trying to stay in the roping.
Last night I heard the commentators say, “A broken barrier now is the same as a miss,” and I initially questioned, “WHAT??? are they talking about?” No way is a barrier the same as a miss. If the majority of teams had a broken barrier instead of a miss they’d still be in the hunt. However, keeping in context with the way the Team Roping event has played out I can see that they meant a barrier and a miss at this point are the same because in either case you won’t win anything in the round (on that particular steer). Still, not to be misconstrued, when all is said and done a barrier is far more beneficial than a miss in terms of average pay outs.
Barriers play a big role in one-headers. You’ve got to be riding the barrier to win. If you’re not on the barrier, more than likely you’ll be a hair late and out of the money. If you’re too much on the barrier you could be as little as a hair-early and out of the money. In both cases you’re usually not going to win. Bottom line, when it’s about fast, it’s about riding that barrier. You also have to be able to reach, but reaching makes your team very vulnerable. Jojo, for instance, throws a bomb every time. Sometimes it hits, sometimes it doesn’t and when he succeeds his percentage of good runs is still marginal depending on all the long-handle variables that add up against him and his heeler (Randon Adams). Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to have a long shot in your playbook, but remember just because a guy has a hell-of-a-reach doesn’t guarantee a fast run. A long throw generally instigates a longer handle making it hard to be consistent EVEN when you’re a master of your craft. I.e. the sword you live by can also take you out.

The Lion

Monday, December 7, 2009

WNFR first weekend is "In the Books"

Watch out boys! The feathers are gun’a fly. At the halfway point in this year’s finals and 70% of our modern-day ropers are out (of the average), as a result of their do-or-die style, the table is now set to their initial idea. For nothing but day-money I expect they’re roping right in their element. The writing is on the wall. I could be wrong, but I believe only four teams remain that have it figured out. Fourth in the avg. is around $30,000 which is equivalent to two go-rounds. Realizing they are the only ones holding a shot at the big money and all they have to do is catch, the solid teams will rope smart (let’s hope) while the rest go wild with their usual bloodshed ways. We’ll probably see a hyper-gun-slinging exhibit from here on out. Some runs will be spectacular, others will be embarrassing, but one thing’s for sure, it should definitely be entertaining.

The Lion.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Leo's Thoughts on Round 2

How ‘bout it? As I expected, that two-loop rule is giving them guys a rude awakening. In fact, their expressions and demeanors make me think they haven’t woke up to its reality. Hel---lowww… Instead of going an extra step and making a slam dunk they’re shooting for threes and coming up short. The shock and confusion in their expressions is like, “What’d I just do? I went off and it didn’t work. Sh%$! That was it; all she wrote.”—I find myself yelling at my TV to those guys who are shaking their heads in disbelief about their results “You’re not thinking! Instead of Roping Smart, and working the run you’re letting the clock dictate your throws, knee-jerking blink-shots and then falling out, that fast. Done!” This is when I suggest the need for a coach. This year’s blood will flounder through every round because they aren’t roping outside the box nor do they have an inkling of a clue how. Sometimes a good soldier needs the direction of a good general to win the war, you know?

Patrick Smith is in dire need of a revamp. He doesn’t seem geared for fresh steers. He needs to get something on his rope rather than assuming the steer’s honesty and just firing, but I’m not sure it’s in his make-up. The worst case last night was Petska. They placed strong on their first steer, then when their second-night’s steer didn’t expose an immediate shot, was not in a heel-able frame, Cory threw anyway. What the hell? Now, I don’t care how great you are, if there’s no shot there’s no shot! What in the sam-hell are you doing? I don’t even consider that a low-percentage shot. It’s an absolute ridiculous, no-shot-at-all shot that has no rhyme or reason, let alone, place in NFR roping. At this point, even roping one leg is better than throwing a wild wad of sh%$ and missing.
This group doesn’t know how to kick in and hover over a steer with authority—I’ve got you ya son of a bitch!—and stitch him tight. Two-loops will force guys to rope with discipline. The expression I use around here on my rookies is appropriate for the ’09 NFR class, “It’s time to ‘pro-up’!” Get serious and rope responsibly or go home. We get tired of watching nonsense.
The two-loop rule will resurrect the sport’s integrity. I don’t expect we’ll see any style or strategy changes this year, not even next year or any near-future NFRs until them new-agers figure out—or somebody comes along and shows them—how to win under those conditions. How to Rope Smart where they can rope very solid with control and confidence that they can be 4 or 5, yet refrain from taking a low-percentage chance (bad) shot at a steer in haste that you very likely might miss.
At this point, the one thing I see, is that Chad Masters ain’t fooling around. He changed horses right after the first steer and realizes that he has one of the best heelers of all time behind him, so he just has to give him a shot each night. That team is just laying there in the weeds (like a lion) waiting to pounce on that opportune chance. Their patience and confidence in that upcoming opportunity will prevail.

NFR2009 - Wild Team Roping: is this a two loop effect?

This isn't your normal WNFR, at least in the team roping. The new two-loop rule certainly has changed the performances thru Saturday evening. Here's what former NFR champions Leo and Jerold Camarillo have to say about the Team Roping in the 2009 WNFR thus far:

Leo: Somebody pinch me! We’ve got the 15 greatest teams in the world working a 10-header and after three rounds 10 of them are out. Am I watching the bull riding or the team roping? It’s like a car race. One team wrecks and they’re out, then another wrecks and they’re out, and the race winner will be whichever car is still up on the track. The teams I expected to be so solid have thrown their chance out the window, and I’m to the point where I’m just watching for who’ll hang-in and who’ll hang-up. I was sure Maters and Corkill would stay focused and like a locomotive just get stronger and stronger and stronger, then last night Chad’s horse got a little quick and his rope started running again, just like with his first steer, yet as soon as Chad turned him Corkill went off at no shot. I can’t understand why them guys can’t just rope defensively. It’s like they’re conditioned strictly for cake-walks. When things go smooth, everything works smooth and they can really make things look sharp. But when you see that obviously things need adjusting within a run then you must make the adjustments. You can’t be so rigid and set in your ways to just explode off in spite of what’s in front of you. It’s a 10-header! Comprende? Every steer counts. You need every one of them.

Jerold: Ya, but those guys are one way. When them steers turn they throw, and that’s O.K. at the jackpots and rodeos, but this is a 10-head average rodeo. A guy needs to get’him a good start and make a solid catch. They’re throwing and going and making problems for their heeler. Then their heelers won’t line out their shot. They just throw at anything. It’s all they know. Trevor is roping good, but his horse is coming back too much instead of going straight across which is giving Patrick a different look than he’s used to. The steer’s path is having an effect on the shots Patrick’s trying to make.

Leo: I don’t think those guys analyze it like that. It seems like they just go back and try it all over again in hopes they’ll get a steer that fits their method. When you go to a roping and they say only one loop don’t you change your idea of roping? You don’t use your do-or-die play.

Jerold: The heelers won’t line out their shot, they just throw. It’s all they know.

Leo: A new rule’s been implemented and nobody understands how to work it. Instead of figuring a way to overcome it they’re ignoring it. Rather than make a steady climb to that big prize at the top they’re frantically swiping at a quick $1,700. The one thing different between novice and professional is that the professional knows how to catch regardless.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Camarillo Roping Student Makes Good

Colton Farquer from Oakdale, California competed in the California High School Rodeo Association, Thanksgiving Rodeo Fundraiser on November 28th. Colton, a student at the Camarillo Arena in Oakdale, took top honors with a first place finish in the Steer Stopping. Colton says "I've learned a lot about roping from the best (the Camarillos) and it certainly showed today". Colton roped off of a youth roping horse that was found by Jerold Camarillo. "I was mounted well, and knew I had to break perfect and throw fast" he said. "This horse was ready to stop as I pulled the slack. I had the confidence to know my dally would hold on my RopeSmart Dally Wrap. That gave me the winning edge." he added. Colton is a Freshman at Oakdale High School in Oakdale, CA and currently competes in Team Roping and Tie Down Roping events at the high school level.

(disclosure: Colton is sponsored by

NFR - Cowboy Superbowl - Commentary from Cashe Crane and Leo Camarillo

Cashe Says: I don't know who all of the guys at the finals are ropin' with but Chad Masters and Jade Corkill are ropin' together and they're my pick for the average and world titles. Kelsey Parchman is teamin' up with Richard Durham, Trevor Brazile and Patrick Smith are ropin' there again and Luke Brown and Martin Lucero match up well against the other 14 teams headin' for Vegas. Eight time World Champ Rich Skelton's back but I'm not sure who he's pullin' pipes for. JoJo Lemond has returned with defending World Champion heeler Randon Adams, who has homecourt advantage, and watch out for the veterans, the toughs, Travis Tryan and Michael Jones. Nick Sartain and Kollin VonAhn are goin' to be a fun team to watch. Nick Sartain's one of the fastest header's goin' down the road. Speakin' of fast, Derick Begay and Ceasar De La Cruz made it. Riley and Brady Minor made the cut again and Charley Crawford is ropin' with NFR rookie Russell Cardoza. Russell's a bad man FYI and Steve Purcella is stickin' for Jhett Johnson. I'm not sure who Rich, Brad Culpepper, Blaine Linaweaver, Kevin Daniel, Clay Tryan, Cory Petska and Justin Davis are teamed up with but however they decide to match up its looki' to be an exciting Finals. Cache Crane
Leo Responds:
Pipes. PIPES? Back in my day we called them pipes “bones”. Anyway, thanks for the great email and I agree with you 100%. You took the words right out of my mouth and I feel you’ve nailed it down. Korkill seems the hungriest and Masters is absolutely that, “the master”. The two together are like Peyton Manning. They just make things go. Trev and Patrick have better than a long shot. Patrick’s won a championship before and Trevor’s claws are always out. On paper I see Trevor and Patrick having the best chance. They are a dynamic duo. Trevor has a one-track focus (championship). It doesn’t matter the event, and he won’t let up until it’s over. He rides the best horses, has the best tools, and focuses on it the most. Winning World Championships is his game. He’s won the steer roping, calf roping, all around, the only one that’s evaded him is the team roping. You know he’s aching for it. It’s like, “What’s in your wallet?” you know? Sartain and Van Ahn? I’ve never seen VanAhn. I’m assuming—you think they’ll be fun watch’n—they’ll have some fire in them. Sartain sounds cut out for the Thomas and Mack set-up but a guy has to remember there’s only one loop this year. When you come down the court, and you’ve got one shot, do you want to make that slam dunk? Or are you gunna pull up and fire at a high-risk 3 pointer? It’s a 10-header and the lion’s share is in the average, unless someone does like I did with Tee back in the day (1980) and wins 5 rounds in a row. Nevertheless, you say Sartain is fast, we’ll see if he’s also solid. Same for Begay and de la Cruz, they all must remember, the sword you live by can also take you out.
Russell? FYI (F—‘n Youth In-training) is a kid I remember from Escalon, lets hope he keeps his cool. Can’t wait to see how it plays out. As for the rest of them, its like that tough guy that lives at the end of Bad Street, they can just form a group. Obviously we’ll know better after the first perf. how things should pan out. Keep in touch bud. The Lion