George Strait Ropes ‘Em In With Team Roping Classic
George Strait held his 28th Annual George Strait Team Roping Classic this past weekend in San Antonio, and 469 teams anted up a grand apiece to compete during the two-day event. The classic's namesake roped with three different partners but did not qualify for the finals.
The team taking home the grand prize of nearly $160,000, custom painted Chevy Silverado Dualies, horse trailers, saddles, roping bags, Wrangler jackets and more were 25-year-olds Jake Long and Coleman Proctor, who have been best friends since they were toddlers. Both were quick to show their appreciation for George and his organization.
"Thanks to George for all he does for team ropers. We couldn't survive without something like this. Not just us but a lot of ropers won money ... and it's just great for guys who rope and try to feed their families this way to be able to come here and win something."
More than $600,000 was awarded in cash and prizes for the ropers who placed at this year's Team Roping Classic.
During the opening festivities of the competition's finals, George announced to the crowd that he is bringing his tour to the Alamodome in San Antonio. The stadium show is set for May 1 and features King George, along with Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack and the Randy Rogers Band. Last week, George also announced plans to perform a full concert at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on April 28, his first for Music City since 2004.
Seen in the crowd was actor James Pickens, Jr., best known for his role as Chief Richard Webber on the ABC hit series, 'Grey's Anatomy.' He enjoys roping in his spare time and is a member of the United States Team Roping Championship. James had quite a few fans in the audience, including George's niece Kara Strait Silva. "You can't say I'm obsessed really, but I am a HUGE 'Grey's' fan," she exclaimed. "I was actually nervous!"
The event, which originated as a small family-roping activity by George and his late brother Buddy in 1982, has grown into one of the biggest and most prestigious team roping competitions in the country.