Oklahoma Panhandle State University
OPSU Rodeo Starts Year with Joe Beaver Roping Schools Submitted by OPSU Rodeo Team on 08/20/2014
Goodwell, Okla. — As a new school year and rodeo season begin the young men and women on the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Rodeo Team started out their year with that winning tradition in mind. Eight-time world champion cowboy Joe Beaver held breakaway roping and tie down roping clinics in Goodwell, August 14-17.
Beaver who took to the professional level in 1985 had a very successful rookie year. His first year as a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) member he not only took home the gold buckle and world title in the tie down roping, but he also took home the highest award as the World All-Around Champion. He went on to win the All-Around title two more times in his career. He also won four more gold buckles in the tie down roping from 1986-2000. Beaver began hosting roping clinics in 1988 and has continued his passion for roping and helping the next generation of cowboys and cowgirls reach their potential ever since.
This is the third straight year that Beaver has hosted clinics in Goodwell. Once again this year’s clinics were held at assistant rodeo coach Robert Etbauer’s indoor arena and the clinics were nothing short of inspiring.
“The main reason I look forward to coming back to the panhandle for this school, year after year are the people. The kids that attend this clinic aren’t just here to be here, they are here to improve and to win. Robert always has such a great set of calves and an awesome facility to host a clinic at. Robert makes my job easy,” Beaver said “When I come back and see the students that have been here in years past and see that they are improving I know that I am making a difference. Not only do I want to help them win the breakaway and tie down, but I want to help them to win in every event. We compete from the shoulders down, but we win from the shoulders up. This is something that I try to instill in all of the athletes no matter what level they are at.”
Over the four days there was very little down time for the students of Beaver’s clinics. The day always started off by spending some time roping the Nex. The Nex is a practice dummy that Beaver himself designed to force the roper to really focus on roping the calf’s neck sharp. This served a purpose for the inexperienced ropers along with the more advanced.
“Roping the neck sharp just sets up your whole run in the tie down roping and will help you to get the fastest flag possible in the breakaway roping,” said Beaver. “When roping in competition your body often reverts back to muscle memory therefore correctly roping the dummy only helps build that memory.”
After the loops where critiqued and worked on the students then got their horses and began roping calves.
The very positive Beaver always strived to pick out something to help the students improve on from run to run. He really stressed the importance of thinking before you rope and how important the start is. He challenged the students through different matches and competitions. At the end of each section he would go around the arena and remind each student of the areas that they needed to work on. No two students were the same and it seemed as if every student took something from the clinic that they could build on and improve.
“This is the second year that I have been fortunate enough to attend the Joe Beaver clinic in Goodwell and each year I gained knowledge to help me not only improve my roping, but also my ability to win in and outside of the arena,” senior breakaway roper Terra Micek said. “Joe [Beaver] is one of those people that is inspiring and makes everyone around them strive to be the best they can be. I was very excited when I found out that he was going to be back this year.”
“If I could leave the Oklahoma Panhandle State Rodeo team with just one thought for the year it would be: Don’t beat yourself! If you ride out of the arena knowing that you did all that you could then there is nothing more to do, but if you feel that you could have done some things different go from there and fix them,” said Beaver.
The rodeo team looks to keep up that winning tradition by using what the eight-time world champion has taught them. They also look forward to the upcoming clinics from Rich Skelton in the team roping and Jeanne Davis in the barrel racing. All rodeo schools hosted by the OPSU Rodeo Team are open to the public with the cost of tuition. A complete schedule can be found at www.opsuaggies.com. Championship schools are made possible through the support of the City of Guymon Convention and Tourism. The aggies look to kick off their season in Cherokee, Okla. September 19-21.