July 31, 2017
2017 Final GSTRC

Dear team ropers, sponsors, team roping fans, country music fans, and all else concerned,

It is with a lot of thought and sleepless nights that I along with my family have decided to call the 35th anniversary of the GSTRC our last one. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing it for more than half of our lives and for most all of our kids’ entire lives. It’s taken a lot of work building it from our first one in 1983 in Kingsville, Texas to what it has become today. Believe me when I say this decision doesn’t come easily, and I know we will miss it.

I have to say a big thank you to our sponsors who made this incredible event possible for all these years. I also have to say a big thank you to all of you team ropers who participated over the years; some of you have supported it for almost as long as we have. I’ve made many good friends over the years in the team-roping world and hope that never changes. The many memories that I have from back when I participated and even after, just watching the excitement of the finals, and then being able to hand out all of the award money and prizes to the winners, are some I’ll never forget.

I also have to say a big thank you to Stuart Cavender of Cavender Chevrolet and Kerry Bruton and family of Bruton Trailers for being our major sponsors for so many years. You guys went so far above and beyond what most would have done to make this truly, in my opinion, the best open team roping event in the world. You guys changed a lot of lives. Another special thank you has to go out to Collie Webb for running our chutes and taking care of me for all these years. You went from just running our chutes to wearing many hats in and out of the arena. Security, organizer, etc…the list goes on and on. Thank you, Collie. You are a good man and we all love you.

Johnnie Garcia, what can I say? You sat horseback flagging team after team for more hours than I think anyone I’ve ever seen, and you never once complained or asked for help. You did a great job over the years flagging our roping – what a professional. We got you some help the past few years, but I have no doubt you could have done it on your own. Also, our team of chute help: Jimmie Adams and JW Parr – Collie put the team together years ago and they have done an outstanding job keeping the roping running smoothly. Thanks to chute boss Boliver Bledsoe and barrier judge Bobby Flores. Outstanding job, boys.

Thanks also, of course, to the San Antonio Rose Palace staff: Don Jones, Mary Ebensberger and Federico Palacios, who have done such a great job getting the building and arena ready and perfect for so many years.

I’ve got to thank Pete Wright, even though he’s no longer with us. He took the announcing reigns from the very beginning and did it until he no longer could. I can still hear him saying, “look out clock!” whenever someone made a really fast run. He then passed the reigns to my good friend Arkie Kiehne. Arkie stepped the game up to another level. Then when we brought Reed Flake in to help him out there was no stopping that team. No better announcers anywhere. Period.

I also have to thank our secretaries, Vicky Mounyo, Kelsi Mounyo, Linda Davis, Lenette Fish and Michelle Wright. Not everyone can appreciate the work that they do. The call ins, registering the entry money, and hearing some of the unbelievable stories about why such-and-such was late to enter… to getting the roping started on time, keeping time, and having the money ready for the winners when it is over. You ladies are truly appreciated. Also, thank you to my office staff, Linda Scales, who did such a wonderful job putting the program together and working with our sponsors among many other responsibilities, and Linda Bean who did all of the accounting work among many other duties as well.

Thank you to Danny O’Brian and his wife, Anita, for all of their help and time spent with sponsors. Danny has passed, but our memories of him haven’t. God Bless you, Anita.

Last, but far from least, our wives Norma and Denise. This roping couldn’t have gone off without all of the hard work and preparations on their part.

Buddy and I, and the whole Strait family, took great pride in creating and putting this roping event on for 35 years. It was our dream to make it the biggest and best one out there. In my mind, I think we did that and we will miss it.

I hope I haven’t left anybody out. If so, I truly am sorry and hope you’ll forgive me. Best of luck team ropers. I hope I see you down the road somewhere, and good luck at your next one.

George Strait