One of the fun parts of my writing career has been meeting some very interesting people and learning about their unique lives. When a friend recommended I speak with Bill Casner of WinStar Farm about team roping a couple of years ago, I was perplexed–Huh? A big-time Thoroughbred owner knows about team roping?
Let me tell you, Casner does, in fact, know about team roping–and he’s pretty successful with the sport as well. The story was picked up by Rodeo News, and I think one of my favorite tales was when Casner (who has sold his part ownership to Kenny Troutt a few years ago) was explaining how he has ridden Dubai World Cup Champion Well Armed (who is retired on Casner’s Rafter C Ranch in Texas), but he won’t make much of a roping horse: “He loves to do the ‘doo-si-doo’–you better be screwed down on him when you ride him because if he sees a bird or something he loves to do a little dance.”
Bill Casner rides champion Thoroughbred Well Armed on his Rafter C Ranch in Flower Mound, Texas.
Read more about Bill Casner and his life in the roping box and outside of the racetrack:
Roping & Racing: The Horsepower of Bill Casner, Page 1
Roping & Racing: The Horsepower of Bill Casner, Page 2
Roping & Racing: The Horsepower of Bill Casner, Page 3
Back in November I was invited to cover the Oleika Shriners Pro Rodeo for Rodeo News by my friend, and freelance photographer, Rick Samuels. It was great to get back to my roots–I did high school and college rodeo and fell in love with the sport. I saw some old friends, met some people whose name I only knew from press and seeing them competing at rodeos, and introduced my husband to the sport I once devoted my life to.
The Oleika Shriners started hosting an International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) rodeo at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park three years ago as a way to raise money to help support the Shrine’s work. When the group noticed their trademark circuses weren’t grabbing the attention of families as much as they used to, John Bourne came up with the idea of hosting a professional rodeo.
Now, after three years, the rodeo has grown so much in attendance and notoriety that the IPRA has decided this rodeo will now be the home of the All Region Finals, a prestigious rodeo for members of the IPRA before the International Finals Rodeo. This shows the IPRA’s appreciation for the great work the Shriners have done bringing professional rodeo to Central Kentucky.
You can read the article here in the latest issue of the Rodeo News. Photos by Rick Samuels.