Beach has trust with partners Davis, Norell
In the sport of rodeo, roping is a precise event.
Ryley Beach is very good, to be precise.
Ryley and his two roping partners are Junior Little Britches Rodeo World Champions.
Ryley, a 14-year-old from Loma, won titles in junior team roping and junior dally ribbon roping.
Jace Norell of Delta partnered with Ryley in team roping, and Taylor Davis from Rifle was Ryley’s teammate in dally ribbon roping.
“I was excited,” Ryley said about winning national titles. “All the hard work paid off.”
For Ryley and 14-year-old Jace, it was a quick trip from new partners to world champs. The two were in need of roping partners early in the summer, so they joined forces. But it took a little while for them to jell.
“We roped at a couple of rodeos, but we didn’t rope the best,” Jace said. “Then I went to his place, and we practiced a whole lot.”
The two started roping about six weeks before the finals, held in Pueblo on July 26-28.
They were friends, but they never roped together until this summer.
“We’ve been doing junior rodeos together pretty much our whole lives,” Ryley said.
Team roping is the ultimate team event in rodeo, with both ropers needing to be at the top of their game to bring home the hardware.
Ryley is the “header” in the event, meaning he ropes the head of the steer and turns it left waiting for Jace, the “heeler,” to rope the hind legs.
Ryley said it’s both a mental and physical challenge.
“Keeping the mental aspect and concentrating on what you have to do (is difficult),” he said. “You have to make sure you don’t get distracted.
“I was pretty nervous before the finals.”
Trust is a big part of team roping.
“It’s a team event, so you have to work with your partner and trust your partner,” Ryley said.
Jace agreed, saying that having trust in his partner makes it easier.
“It helps your confidence a lot,” he said.
The title was earned through an accumulation of points throughout the season.
Ryley and Jace were good and consistent through the season, then they wrapped up the title at the finals, taking second in first round, then winning the second and short rounds.
In the dally ribbon roping event, Ryley and 12-year-old Taylor became new partners this summer as well. The event combines riding, roping and running.
Ryley was the rider and roper, and after he lassoes the calf, Taylor runs up and grabs the ribbon, which is attached to the tail of the calf, then she runs to the finish line to stop the clock.
“We were a pretty good team right off the bat,” Ryley said.
Both were looking for partners at a rodeo in Rifle early in the summer. Shortly after becoming partners, Taylor broke her arm and couldn’t compete for the entire month of June.
“Ryley said once my arm healed that we would be partners again,” Taylor said.
Ryley said he never considered looking for another partner for the finals.
“Loyalty is huge in rodeo,” he said.
Ryley and Taylor accumulated enough points before the finals to have a shot at the title in Pueblo.
After taking third in the first round and first in the second round, they knew they had the title secured.
Ryley and Jace will be moving out of the junior Little Britches level now that they are going into high school.
Taylor will continue competing in the junior Little Britches where she competes in most of the events. She’s now working to improve her roping, so she can move into team roping in the future.