On Spinning and Winning

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I wasn't one of the original cast members of Spin to Win. I showed up after Jake (Barnes) and the rest of the crew kind of got the ball rolling. But I've been on board several years now. By the time I came onto the scene, we knew there was a lot of interest in this thing. But I sure didn't realize it would take off like it did; that people would lock onto it and really use it as a major source of their learning and information, and that they'd always be eager and waiting for more. All along, I've had a lot of comments on how the ropers really like it. It's been fun to try to hit all the different aspects and areas of roping throughout the years; to try to share as much information as possible and maintain the highest level of quality, from the stories to the pictures that go with them.

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Spin to Win has become the main source of roping information, not only in the form of tips, but also information on the world of professional team roping today. It seems like everybody gets it and wants to keep getting it. It's kind of cool for me personally that it started out hot and stayed hot. It hasn't cooled off or leveled off yet. That's amazing, and it's neat to be a part of that.

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There's always just been a buzz about this magazine. From the beginning, we've had people coming up and commenting about things they've read in Spin to Win. One of the things that's added to the mystique is that people think of it as "Jake and Clay's magazine." That seems to have a spark to it, as far as the fans are concerned, which is such a great compliment. That's another thing that's made this thing unique. People were eager to have the magazine that's about the guys they root for. That's cool in a lot of ways.

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Spin to Win has also developed into something the pros read. Early on, it was aimed mostly at lower-numbered, beginner- and intermediate-type ropers. But as we've evolved and started presenting information in so many different areas, the pros have loved reading it also. I know I enjoy reading it every month. One step at a time, everything about it being the best it can be, makes it, in my estimation, the No. 1-read team roping magazine in the country, and by a pretty easy margin, I would think. (Here, Allen Bach gets focused at a 2005 photo shoot we had at his house in Millsap, Texas.)

I feel like my part in all this has been pretty easy and pretty fun. For several years, everyone came to my house to do the photo shoots, so I was home. We got to go out and rope and visit and have fun. Talking about all aspects of this sport is in the flow of what I do every day anyway. All I've done since I was a little kid is eat, sleep and breathe roping, so Spin to Win is right up my alley.

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We get all kinds of questions about how we do this, when we do it, where and how we come up with the topics. It's kind of a conversation piece and an ice breaker that sparks conversations, sometimes with strangers, and leads to good visits all across the country and year-round. Spin to Win provides that opportunity for us, which is pretty special.

Spin to Win is a great way to be able to help people, which is its own reward. For me, it's like giving something back, which always feel good. Part of me has always felt that the information I share with others is a gift from God. He's shown me how to do everything I know how to do, so it's not really mine; it's His. It's pretty cool to me to be able to pass it on to so many others. I want to see people do well; to do as well as they possibly can. It's fun to see people realize their dreams. That's how it's supposed to be. We were all created to achieve great things and fulfill our potential, then to go ahead and pass it on to the next generation and the next and the next. The (Spin) plan from here is to keep our heads down and keep working hard. I'm looking forward to onward progress. As long as all of you keep enjoying it, we're going to keep having a good time doing it for you. STW