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The scoreboard says it all as Tyson Durfey puts the finishing touches on an average winning win at the San Angelo Cinch Roping Fiesta.

By Nancy Wilkins

Photos courtesy of Nancy Wilkins & Spur of the Moment Photography

It all started in 1954 when C.A. ‘Chili’ Cole persuaded the San Angelo Fat Stock Show and Rodeo directors to pursue organizing a fall roping event during the downtime after the stock show and rodeo to bring in much needed revenue to the local economy and stock show program. The original San Angelo Steer Roping and Branding was an immediate success as Cole persuaded 12 of the top steer ropers in the world to enter. Legendary greats like Toots Mansfield, Sonny Davis, Tim Prather, and Jim Bob Altizer just to name a few etched their name into the early history books of the Roping Fiesta. It soon became, and still remains one of the most prestigious steer and calf ropings in the world.

The event continued to grow and a jackpot calf and match roping were added in 1962. That year Tom Nesmith lead the average with a 25.70 and the match winner was Dean Oliver

First timer Cody Quaney earned his spot by qualifying in Friday’s Preliminary Roping.

with a 163.7 over Jim Bob Altizer with a 171.1. The roping was a big hit with fans and renamed - The San Angelo Roping Fiesta. Local cattleman and board member, Johnny Bonner of San Angelo, was behind the additions and also the construction of the outdoor arena in 1963 that is still used today. Overheard this year was a conversation between a husband and wife who were watching the prelim roping Friday. She asked him “why don’t they move the Saturday roping inside where it is warm?” His response was “It’s tradition; you won’t ever see them move the Jackpot inside.” And he is right, we will most likely never see the Saturday Jackpot moved to an inside venue. In 2008, the roping committee added the World Championship Double Mugging to the Sunday schedule between rounds of the Steer Roping. A Friday night dance was added this year at the Buffalo Social Club. There was a meet and greet with ropers, and as usual on Saturday night the Jake Hooker band entertained the crowd. There was plenty of shopping at the Cowboy Collectables Show in the Foster Communications Coliseum with vendors selling everything from woodworking to leather goods, furniture and jewelry. The “roper’s” kids could be found outside playing with

Cowboy Sports News Page 14 - December 2012

Jerry Sims the Happy Toy Maker’s metal chutes, pens, trucks and trailers. Some could be heard telling their parents which ones they “needed” to add to their collections.

A preliminary calf roping was held on the Friday before the Jackpot, allowing ropers a chance to earn a coveted invite to the roping fiesta invitational. This year over 100 ropers competed with the Round 1 winner Jake Pratt, Ellensburg WA with a 9.0, Chris Demases of Boyd, TX 9.6, Rusty Miller Comanche, TX 10.1, Jim Wallace Mertens, TX 10.3, Ryan Thibodeaux Stephenville, TX 10.4, Cody Waldrop San Angelo, TX 10.8/Matt Kenney Midland, TX 10.8. 2nd Round winners were Blane Cox Cameron, TX 8.7/ Logan Helton Pampa, TX 8.7/Cody McCartney Cemperance, MI 8.7, Tyson Arledge Milano, TX 8.9, Giovanni Davis College Station, TX 9.0, Westyn Hughes Caldwell, TX 9.1

Cody Ohl rope when he was 15, and he may be the only other person that roped that good at that age.” Westyn has been spending a lot of time roping with Justin, who lives just 20 miles down the road from him in Giddings, Texas. Westyn says both his dad and Justin are the two biggest factors in his roping success.

Christy Canton, wife of

Tuf Cooper on his way to winning the match roping on Saturday.

Final Round Winners Westyn Hughes Caldwell, TX 9.3/ Chris Demases Boyd, TX 9.3, Ryan Thibodeaux Stephenville, TX 10.5, Matt Kenney Midland, TX 10.8

Average winners Westyn Hughes Caldwell, TX 29.4, Chris Demases Boyd, TX 30.6, Cody Quaney, Cheney, KS 31.2, Cody Waldrop San Angelo, TX 32.1, Ryan Thibodeaux Stephenville, TX 32.5, Dillon Mundorf Three Rivers, TX 33.1 and Seth Crain Yancey, TX 34.7 Making history as the youngest roper to qualify for the Roping Fiesta was 15 year old Westyn Hughes of Caldwell, Texas. Justin Maass said “I saw

tiedown roper Ricky Canton said of Westyn, “We’ve watched him go from the jr tiedown all the way to the open tiedown at the Ricky Canton Ropings, and he wasn’t even in high school yet! He’s an amazing athlete, he’s adorable, kind and humble, with the best manners. What a great role model for other kids!”

Westyn was definitely a crowd favorite when he came out of the box on Saturday during the Jackpot. He and his horse Captain looked like they were both old pros out in the arena surrounded by other roping greats like Cody Ohl, Justin Maass and Stran Smith, just to name a few. The announcer did say that Westyn would definitely be invited back next year!


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