The Lance Koppenhafer Championship
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A Lasting Legacy
by Terry Allen
September 14, 2015
The Lance Koppenhafer Championship was held at the Pinedale Rodeo Grounds August 29th. We asked Bob Bing if he would share the history of the event with our readers and introduce us to a few friends who knew Lance.
Bob Bing: "Lance Koppenhafer was a friend of ours who was killed tragically in a tractor accident. So we wanted to do a roping in his memory, but we didnít want to call it a memorial so we came up with the name the Lance Koppenhafer Championship.
It is open to the world and itís a handicap roping so a lower skilled roper can rope in it. Itís like golf. Itís handicapped so you have a chance to win as much as a guy who ropes professionally. The payoff was real good.
The first year we did it we had over 550 teams and we didnít get done until about 6:30 the next morning. It went all night. Now we have changed it to progressive and it comes off a lot smoother.
Lance was a real dear friend and somebody that if you needed something or needed something fixed, he was always Johnny-on-the spot. He was always doing stuff above and beyond. He was always organizing things. He was kind of the man. He meant a lot to everybody, so thatís why we created the championship."
Mark Jones: "Lance was one who would take charge and organize things. You always need someone to take the lead and that was him. He liked getting the kids on horses. He was one of the guys instrumental in keeping this event going. He was a real asset to the community."
Todd Stevie: "Well, Lance was a great friend. He didnít know a stranger. If you were in a bind heíd help you out in a second, but he got even good. One time he called me broken down with a truck and trailer and said "come and get me". He was on the board of the Ag Center and President of the Sublette County Sporting Association. He died in 2007 and weíve had this event ever since."
Wil Nichols: "Heíd be the first at an event to help out and the last one to leave. Heíd work the chutes or whatever."
The rules of the Lance Koppenhafer Championship: This is what you call a four head progressive. You enter with a partner. You can enter as many times as you have money to enter. Itís sixty dollars, so itís expensive. If either partner misses you are out. So, you have to rope each steer. You have four rounds. In this competition there were 160 teams. At the start of the fourth round there were 30 or less teams that had caught all three of their steers. So, then you go to the short gun. Whoever has the lowest time ropes first. Then you just go from there. The team with the most steers roped in the lowest amount of time wins.
The horses: All the horses are quarter horses or have quarter horse behind themÖin their lineage. They have bigger bone and more muscle so they can handle the sudden jerks experienced in stopping the steer. They also have great sprint speed, being clocked at speeds up to 55 mph. These working cow horses are compact, strong, and well-muscled, which makes them well suited to the intricate and speedy maneuvers required in calf roping, barrel racing, reining and cutting work.
Awards were awarded on Sunday after the Cowboy Shop Classic.
The Results from Todd:
The Lance Koppenhafer championships.
1st Arye Espenschied & Brady Siddoway
2nd Saul Bencomo & Stan Voxland
3rd Arye Espenschied & Wes Miller
4th Arye Espenschied & Brian Espenschied
5th Rhett Nichols & Tim Rutar
6th AJ Fuchs & Mike Stevie
7th Lora Nichols & TJ Jarrard
The winner of the Reid Schoube achievement award. Kolby Bradley
For questions, corrections or prints, contact Terry Allen 307-231-5355