John Gaona, Jr., may be a senior at Hayden High School with plans for college, but he already knows what he wants to do with […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Lloyd South is a veteran calf roper and team roper from the Texas Panhandle. He now lives an hour west of Ft. Worth, in the country, and has devoted the past six years to developing the 40+ Team Roping Championships. He started team roping in 1964. “When we were growing up we roped calves and started team roping when it started getting going down here. I’ve been part of it since the beginning.” His brother, John South, former National Senior Pro Rodeo Association General Manager, is also a roper.
“I did a lot of research before I started this,” he said. “Half of the USTRC membership is over 40 and that age group doesn’t improve and change as much as the kids do. It’s impossible to keep up with the kids as fast as they get better at their roping. I felt there was a need for another association that met the needs of the over 40.” Lloyd started the ropings in east Texas, and has now branched throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico and has plans to move into Colorado this year. “That’s as far as I want to go – our finals are in Stephenville and I don’t want people to have to go further than that. I want to take care of what I’ve got,” he said of the continued 30% growth each year. “We had 3,061 teams at the finals last October.” The association gives saddles to the average winners and a trailer to the high point money earner at the Finals and has lower entry fees than most sanctioned ropings.
“It’s more about having a good time. You can still win substantial money, but you are around people that are more in your age group. We are up to 2,000 members and hope to have 3,000 by the end of the year,” he said.
Lloyd volunteered for the draft out of high school and went into the Army. His unit was on standby to go to the Middle East, but he never had to go. When he got out of the military he dabbled in several careers including western retail, construction, oil rigs, and producing clinics to teach kids how to rope. “I mostly worked in construction,” he said. He has been to every USTRC Finals since they started, as well as the World Series Finals. Now he is heavily involved in the 40+ Team Roping Championships, but still ropes in the other associations. “I spend every weekend doing something related to the 40+. We have 70 events this year,” he said. He has help with keeping up with the points during the year from Tammy Youngblood.
“All I want to do is rope, so this fits me well,” he admits. Lloyd is married to Leisha and has two daughters that live in Florida.