Henrie qualifies for World Series of Team Roping

Terry Henrie catches calves for fun — and he’s proven to be pretty good at it.

“I really enjoy calf roping,” said Henrie, a Wolfforth rancher and entrepreneur who specializes in team roping.

Henrie and his partner, Stetson Vest of Childress, claimed first in a World Series of Team Roping qualifier after looping four calves in 36.12 seconds recently at the Texas Tech Equestrian Center.

The victory earned the pair the opportunity to compete in the World Series of Team Roping finals in December in Las Vegas, where they have an opportunity to earn as much as $100,000.

Henrie, 50, started out as a bull rider, then switched to calf roping and later turned into a team roper.

“In the old days at the Mesquite Rodeo, they never had team roping. That was back before the associations. I started roping calves first because I could go to Mesquite. The other thing was you didn’t have to mess with a partner. So I didn’t team rope in those days,” he said.

“When we started roping, professionally, I switched to team roping because (of the size of the) calves,” he said. “I just couldn’t handle it. Even today, if I rope something 180-190 pounds, I have trouble getting around on it quick.”

You said you got your Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association card in 1979. What do you remember about getting it?

“Back then, you had to win $2,000 in one year to get your card. I think it was a pretty big deal. I got my card riding bulls. I didn’t originally get it for roping. Back then when you got your card, you could go on and do what you want.”

What’s it like on the road? Were you doing two or three rodeos a week?

“Oh, yeah, a lot more than that. … Over July 4 weekend, you can go to 10 rodeos if you want to.

“Back in those days you’d have to go. Not only would you do the amateur rodeos, but you’d go to the pro rodeos as well. In this part of the world, the pro rodeos slow down during the summer months. For those of us who had families, we had to go to some pro rodeos.

“ … Let me tell you about rodeo life. It’s sort of like a carnival. It’s the same group of people in different towns and different settings. It doesn’t matter if you are from Cheyenne (Wyo.) or Abilene or wherever. It’s basically the same pickups, horses and trailers that pull up and compete. Then you go eat with the same people and play dominoes. That’s the fun of it.”

What happened at the team-roping qualifier with you and Stetson in March?

“Basically, eight producers get together and put on a world series qualifying event throughout the first part of the year. If you win one of the ropings, then you’d qualify and then you get to compete for between $75,000 and $100,000 a man. There’s 100 teams. Essentially, it’s held at the South Point Equestrian Center (in Las Vegas).”

How did you get involved in calf roping?

“It’s a big deal where we grew up doing it. My daddy was a ranch foreman for the Razor Ranch in Denton and the McDermott Ranch in Allen, Texas.”

Were you a pretty good calf roper in high school?

“Actually, I rode bulls. I did get a scholarship to Tarleton (State University) out of high school. I won second in the North Texas High School rodeo two years in a row. I never finished first.

“I rode bulls in college under Randy Majors. He was the coach there. I really started team roping seriously in the early 80s.”

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