Ropers coming to Athens

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Rich Flowers, Athens Daily Review, Texas
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Apr. 8—A World Series of Team Roping Competition comes to the Henderson County Regional Fair Park Arena Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Watson Team Roping presents the Athens qualifier for competitors to try to gain a spot in the national championship event held in Las Vegas in December.

Past events show the competition will bring several hundred ropers to the complex. There may be 1,800 to 2,000 teams, but an individual roper can compete in more than one event. A recent Oklahoma event had 2,700 teams.

James Watson heads the Tioga, Texas based organization. According to a story in the Team Ropers Journal, he's been tossing a rope since he was eight years old. He turned his love for the sport into a business more than 20 years ago. They've been associated to the Ariat World Series of Team Roping since 2014.

Many of the ropers work at other jobs and enjoy competing as a hobby. Watson said his goal is to provide a fun, fair place for them to compete.

Watson Team Roping will return to Athens for another event in August. They present about a dozen a year in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The COVID-19 restrictions caused the event scheduled for last April to be canceled.

The Watson roping is just one of many competitions at the Fair Park that can have a significant impact on the local economy during the run of the event.