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MTRA ropers will be rated from a #1 to a #10 based on their ability level using the TRIAD classification system. The following are the general classification definitions for each team roper ability level.

1 TRUE BEGINNER – This person is learning to ride and swing a rope. Learning is priority over


2 BEGINNER NOVICE – Inexperienced riders with little roping experience. Uncomfortable roping from a horse, this roper has difficulty controlling their horse and rope at the same time. This roper is new to competition.

3 MID LEVEL NOVICE – This roper is competing more and catch percentages have increased. Comfortable roping from a horse, but limited horsemanship skills prevents control over any aspect of the run. This instability prevents making necessary adjustments during the course of a run, which leads to inconsistency from one run to the next.

4 UPPER LEVEL NOVICE – Better rope handling mechanics allow for more catches. Better horsemanship skills afford control on slow moving steers but this roper still lacks the necessary rope skills and horsemanship to adjust to fast moving steers. Headers do not handle cattle very well and heelers lack ability to time feet. Both are inconsistent at putting runs together for the average.

5 LOW LEVEL AMATEUR – (HEADER) Catches more than misses and handles cattle with more consistency. This roper rides a conservative barrier so most of his/her catches are well down the arena. This roper stands out in novice class roping.

(HEELER)This roper can sense being in time with the steer, which allows for a better catch to miss ratio. Reaction time is slow making it difficult to adjust to speed in the run. He/She has developed a pattern from one run to the next but struggles to catch many steers in succession. This roper stands out in novice class roping.

6 MID LEVEL AMATEUR – (HEADER) Catches the majority of steers around the horns. Better at riding the barrier, this roper is turning steers where the heart of the roping is taking place. Skilled at handling steers through the corner, allows heelers to catch more easily and more frequently behind them. Typically rides to the hip of the steer before taking a throw and therefore does not take time out of the run.

(HEELER) This roper knows when they are in time with the steer. Better horsemanship and better rope handling skills allow them to make adjustments during the course of the run in order to time up with the steer. This roper rides a conservative corner and usually tracks the steer several jumps to find a throw. Timing is more automatic, so this roper will seldom completely miss a steer, however, he/she will frequently rope one leg. Focused more on catching than dictating the speed of the run.

7 SEMI PRO – (HEADER) This roper can dictate the speed of the run. Skilled at riding the barrier, he/she will catch most steers in the upper 1/3 of the arena. This group consists mostly of the better headers in the amateur ranks of rodeo.

HIGH LEVEL AMATEUR – (HEELER) Sound horsemanship and sound rope skills allow this roper to catch most of their cattle by two feet. This roper sets the run up using a wide angle relative to the steer and rides aggressively through the corner. A solid catcher with intermittent ability to speed up the run. Typically this roper will hold slack overhead, thus allowing more rope to extend between them and the steer. The inability to quickly shut the run down on a consistent basis prevents a higher classification. Competitive jackpot heeler.

8 PROFESSIONAL – (HEADER) This roper rides a barrier extremely well regardless of the length of score. They consistently rope their steers on the gain (a stride back of the steer) and with excellent horsemanship skills they control both the steer and the speed of the run. Rodeos both amateur and professional.

SEMI PRO – (HEELER) This roper rides higher and tighter horse position relative to the steer and consistently catches their steers on the third or fourth jump. Quicker at handling their slack, this roper can take time out of the run by dallying on a shorter rope. Competitive jackpot heeler with skills suited for the amateur ranks of rodeo.

#9 ELITE – (HEADER) Regardless of the roping conditions, this header has the unique calculated ability to control the run. They ride superior horses, which allow them to make the most of any steer they draw. This is a NFR quality header. This header generally ropes for a living and /or is among the best in the world.

PROFESSIONAL – (HEELER) This roper rides the corner looking for osition that enables him to rope as the steer leaves the corner. This aggressive position allows him to rope most of his steers by two feet on the second or third jump. The skill set of this group is well suited for the professional and amateur ranks of rodeo.

10 ELITE- (HEELER) This roper rides corner looking to rope the steer on the first legal jump and has the calculated ability to make up time on any given run. Superior horsemanship and rope handling skills allow him to rope most of his steers by two feet on the first or second jump. Ropes for a living and /or is among the best in the world. NFR quality heeler.