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The Rundown: A Real Battle

If you’re a fan of all things related to roping, make your way to Battle in the Saddle, presented by RFD-TV, July 8 in Oklahoma City, for high-stakes roping action between PRCA favorites, Fred Whitfield and Ryan Jarrett.

By Tara Christiansen
The American Quarter Horse Journal
June 24, 2011

Fred Whitfield at the 2010 Battle in the Saddle

Fred Whitfield, the 2010 Battle in the Saddle Match Roping Champion, will defend his title against Ryan Jarrett on July 9. Journal photo.

It was July 9, 2010, and the tension in the Jim Norick Arena at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City was thick.

Two of the top ropers in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association battled head-to-head in a tie-down match-roping competition, with the fastest on 10 calves taking home $10,000.

In a down-to-the-wire match, it was Fred Whitfield who went home $10,000 richer with the title of the 2010 Battle in the Saddle Match-Roping Champion. Unfortunately for Hunter Herrin, Fred’s adversary, the match-roping was a winner-take-all competition.

Fred, of Hockley, Texas, will return to Battle in the Saddle in 2011 to defend his match-roping title against Ryan Jarrett of Comanche, Oklahoma.

The match-roping is just one of many exciting roping events on July 8 at Battle in the Saddle. Both Fred and Ryan will rope five calves in the first section of the match-roping before the junior heading and heeling and senior heading and heeling finals get under way.

After the heading and heeling finals, the final half of the match-roping will conclude. Bringing up the end of the evening’s excitement is the steer-stopping portion of the World’s Greatest Horseman Shootout.

There will also be full slates of roping classes on July 6-7, which are the qualifying classes for Friday’s finals. The finals for open tie-down and amateur heading and heeling will begin at 3 p.m. July 8, but the match-roping competition will kick off the night’s festivities at 7 p.m.

If you’re interested in entering a roping class at Battle in the Saddle, remember that entries for roping classes close 7 p.m. the day before the class is held, but for most of the other events, you must enter before Monday, June 27 at 4:59 p.m. to avoid late fees.