On May 12, the first annual Yancie Wade McCuistion Memorial Team Roping was held at Ordway Fairgrounds with the memorial roping drawing in 378 teams. The roping awarded 4 saddles, 20 buckles, 2 Best Ever Pads, and 2 rope bags. The roping was followed by a dance and live music.

Yancie McCuistion was a freshman at Vernon College when a tragic car accident ended his life. He competed on his college’s rodeo team working both ends of the arena as a bull rider and bareback rider as well as the team roping and tie-down roping events. He is survived by his sister, Chaney, brother Crowley, and parents Curt and Farrah.

The roping was planned and coordinated by JW McCuistion, Yancie’s uncle, and Ty and Mindy Blasingame who are close family friends, with all proceeds of the roping going in to a scholarship fund to benefit students in the Arkansas Valley.

“The last few years, we were roping a lot and Yancie was helping me ride colts, and we just spent a lot of time together,” Ty Blasingame said. “He spent a lot of time around our house whether it was roping, or playing with our daughters, or helping me with whatever I was doing that day, and Mindy and I really wanted to plan the memorial roping so that Yancie’s family would get to spend the day roping and enjoy it.”

The Day consisted of 3 different ropings, a 13 Slide which got 148 teams and awarded cash payouts and buckles; the Memorial Drawpot which totaled 378 teams entered and awarded cash payouts, buckles, saddles, and more to win; and the #10 roping which brought in 178 teams.

“We couldn’t have been happier about the turnout, it was a great roping and hopefully from here it just continues to grow.  Next year I want it to be even bigger, with more prizes, and more entries,” Blasingame said.

Many of the prizes were donated or extremely discounted by sponsors Blasingame has worked with for years as a professional team roper. The sponsors made the awards possible, and Blasingame was thrilled with the quality of the prizes.

“Corriente Buckles just did an amazing job, the buckles turned out really nice. I was also very impressed with the Coats saddles, I really tried to pick prizes that Yancie would have liked, and he loved his Coats saddles so that was a huge priority when we were looking at prizes.  Everything just came together and our sponsors were all extremely generous,” Blasingame said.

To fill in the gaps of expenses, many local sponsors came together to make the event possible. A few of the many generous sponsors include Rick Montero, Dennis and Joan Hathcock, John and Brandee Lewis, Jolene Hamilton, and more. JW McCuistion said he was extremely surprised how many people were willing to come forward to help out with the roping.

“I think it is a really good way to make sure people remember Yancie, and get together to share stories and have fun,” McCuistion said. “I really like that we are able to use it to help out other kids in the community, I really like the idea that we will be able to benefit so many others in Yancie’s name.”

The McCuistion family brought many of the steers for the roping, but didn’t have enough to cover the entire roping, so the rest were contributed by Jordan Cattle Company.

“We look forward to growing this each year, but I want to thank everyone who came out and participated, and all our sponsors who made this possible,” McCuistion said.