Ora Taton, a veteran roper, had never competed in the Ron Ross Memorial Steer Roping before.
Her first performance in Liberty Hill, Texas, on May 14 and 15, was very remarkable.
The cowboy from Rapid City, South Dakota won the average with a time of 69.2 seconds over five heads.
Taton took home $9,042 in prize money, including $6,239 for winning the average.
It was one of those completely unexpected offers, added Taton, 52. It was unexpected to travel from South Dakota to Texas and win something like that against the guys she was fighting. She had never been there before, and she had already made some money in rodeos this season, and this is one of the main ones we can go to. My wife and I have decided to visit, and want to stay a few days between this (May 14-15) and the next at Liberty Hill (May 19-21).
Taton rose to fifth place in the world rankings due to her strong financial performance at Liberty Hill. She qualified for the National Steer Roping Finals twice, in 2003 and 2004, and won the average in 2003, finishing sixth in the world rankings.
Taton was ranked 20th in the PRCA | RAM world ranking in 2020.
It’s been a long time since I’ve visited (the NFSR), Taton said. I would like to go back there (the NFSR). However, she rarely travelled long distances. I often tell people that if I don’t have money to travel, I won’t. I can’t play unless I win something. This year has been unusual in that I made some money on independent roping in Andrews, Texas early on and was able to go, and have been making money elsewhere. So this year has been a bit strange because I don’t normally make that much money this early in the year.
At Liberty Hill, Taton was riding Spur, her horse.
I guess he’s about 10 years old and he’s the only horse I have right now, Taton said of the horse, which he rode to victory at the Steer Roping National Circuit Finals in Torrington, Wyoming, in 2020. He was about 5 years old. when I buy it. He needed one and he seemed to be able to make one, so my dad (Ralph) and I started him up, and he turned out to be one that we enjoyed. He is one of those exceptional horses.
Taton isn’t sure he’ll make an effort to make it to the NFSR in 2022, despite his strong position in the world rankings.
Everyone tells you to move on when you make money, but I’ve never done that, Taton said. I seem to keep winning, and everyone tells me to move on, but I’m not going to burn down a team by travelling all over the place and disappearing; I just can’t do it. I go to a few others that I don’t usually go to, like Pecos, Texas, and then there’s the 4th of July race, and there are a number of other ties closer to home (in Rapid City). But I’m not going to set the road on fire.
I’m going, and I’m going to have a good time and be prepared.