Star Crossed Ropers Take #12 Shoot Out

Star Crossed Ropers Take #12 Shoot Out Last Minute Replacement Nets $76,900 win

Bach and Thompson Win $76,900

As a journ alist, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming where a particular story might go. Such is the case with Peggy Bach of Milsap, Texas, who partner B.J. Thompson took the #12 Shoot Out at theCInch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping October 26 to win $76,900.

Married to a famous roper – might go there. First woman to win at the 2010 Cinch National Finals of Team Roping. A good possibility.

But then the questions start and the real story emerges.

For Peggy, married to and mother of some pretty darned good team ropers, coming to the NFTR is usually filled with taking care of them and not so much about roping for her. As a matter of fact, she didn’t know until Tuesday night at about 10 p.m. that she would even be in the #12 Shoot Out. That’s when the proverbial stars began to align.

B.J. Thompson of Pitkin, La., had a problem, but one problem he doesn’t have is choosing the right women to rope with. Roping with “Miss Jacque,” as he calls one half of the famous Woolman team, in the #12 Prelim, he ended up doing much better than he had planned, landing in the number three spot and making it to the Shoot Out.

Sounds good, but the problem was that Miss Jacque already had two in the Shoot Out and he was left going solo, and short a long-sleeve shirt. “It was kind of disappointing not to be able to rope with Miss Jacque, because we’d had some success before,” said Thompson. Both issues were going to have be resolved and soon.

The shirt was an easy fix, certainly, but B.J. did spend some time hunting down a potential partner who wasn’t already hooked up. A phone call to Joel Bach led to Peggy, who might have enough earnings to buy her half and rope with him. She did. Deal done.

They met Tuesday morning for the first time.

For Peggy and B.J., the only strategy was to do what they both knew how to do, rope.

Coming in as the high callback, the pair needed an 8.22 to snatch the win away from Joel Nunley and Lane Reeves, who had roped in 7.54 to finish at 32 flat. And they had watched three of the top five basically fizzle out. They roped in a time of 7.21 to finish at 30:32 on four, winning custom Martin trophy saddles and Gist buckles along with the cash.

“We just kept doing what we’d been doing all day,” Peggy said. “Roping and catch and there wasn’t any reason to try to change that. Don’t push the barrier, don’t try to do something different. Just rope.”

And make no mistakes, said Thompson, who says that preparation happens before you even make it to the pen.

“Hours and hours of practice and developing that muscle memory of the correct things you’re doing – being very repetitive,” he said.

The idea of having won nearly $35,000 in a single day hasn’t really sunk in for either roper.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Thompson. “We started coming here in 1993 when I was a little boy watching my dad rope and it was always a dream since then, when it was at the Lazy E. The first time I roped here was in 2000 and never had much success, and last time was the first time I have made the short round since 2006.”

For Peggy, though, it’s a little different. Not that she has been any sort of wall flower while watching husband Allen and sons Joel and Tyler, but having this win makes it just a little bit more affirming that at 51 she’s still got it.

“All I could think was ‘wow,'” she said. “I got the dry mouth and everything when I realized we’d done it.”

And she encourages others to do it.

“You know they say that you should never let your age determine your future,” she said, “and at 51, I just have to keep doing the things I enjoy doing.”

So, okay, let’s do go there. As the week goes on, there will be more women showing up to compete in Cruel Girl competition, as well as Shoot Outs, but the fact remains, there are only about 10 percent of the USTRC membership that are female, while in the rest of the horse industry that number is usually in the neighborhood of 60 percent. In the horse industry, women rule. So why not in team roping?

“I tell women to never think they can’t do this, because they can,” said Peggy. “This is a great sport for women and their families.”

Thompson goes home a winner, but look for Peggy in the Cruel Girl Championships and the #11 Prelims on Thursday.

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The United States Team Roping Championships is the official home of America’s Cowboy Sport, representing more than 35,000 competitive team ropers across the country. USTRC brings the sport of team roping to the national stage by providing competition with integrity as the trusted source of team roping competition rules and classifications.

For more information and a full schedule of events, go to http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=k95adibab&et=1103836836741&s=994&e=00160gUCRp i-h7I35s62GXh3NTPb5X8gy6BmmVxWOQp6ne80fev1RRjIKCykqvQn5bR5BgUw7kJ7BtqId2Lm92 LbJRcVzXyDE9rr82tHf7cM8Y=> www.ustrc.com or call 254.968.0002.