Thorckmorton Man Returns to Vegas in 2021 for His Sixth National Finals Rodeo
A Throckmorton man is representing the Big Country and the Lone Star State at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada.
However, Wesley Thorp is no newcomer to rodeo or the Thomas & Mack Center. 2021 marks Thorp's sixth year in a row to qualify for the NFR through the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Even more impressive is that he and his partner in the event, Cody Snow of California, won the steer roping world title in 2019.
At 26 years old, Thorp is a father to two young boys and created an app called Equine Exchange, where users can buy, sell, and trade horses, and interact with other horse professionals.
If you haven't watched pro rodeo, team roping is a PRCA event featured in the Finals. It's also the only 'team' event among traditional rodeo contests.
The roper on the left side (header) aims his rope at the steer's head, while the roper on the right side (heeler) aims for the animal's back legs.
Check out Thorp and Snow at the 2021 San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo (which they won with a 4.2-second run) for reference:
In team roping, two cowboys horseback pursue and rope a steer (hence the name "team roping"). The steer is given a slight head start out of the chute before the cowboys follow at a run on their horses. The steer's horns are wrapped with protective material to prevent accidents and injury.
Like other events, the lowest time wins the contest and the prize money: the goal is to rope both the horns and the back legs of the steer as quickly as possible. Time runs until the animal is caught by both the head and heels, and is stretched between the two ropers. Penalties occur if ropers break the rope barrier prior to the steer's release, or either roper misses their "loops" to catch the steer.
As of publication (Monday, Dec. 6), Thorp is ranked 8th in the world. You can keep up with all of the results from the 2021 Wrangler National Finals here.