There was an invasion in Stephenville over this past weekend. They came, they roped and they won. Over 2560 teams of professional team ropers representing 16 different states converged upon Lone Star Arena for the Cowboy Capital Classic team roping, produced by the United States Team Roping Championships.

According to William Bellville, vice president of operations for the USTRC, located here in Stephenville, entry numbers increased by 100 teams over last year. This event was the largest payout of the year for the USTRC awarding over $330,000 in cash prizes and another $70,000 awarded to winning ropers in Martin Trophy saddles, Gist buckles and Gist spurs. And, thatís just the tip of the iceberg for those ropers who won their division over the weekend.

For every contestant that won the average in their division, they earned a National Shoot-out position, making them eligible to compete at the USTRC National Championships in Oklahoma City, OK during the last weekend of October for a share of $5.3 million in cash and prizes.

"We are glad to have another successful event in our hometown. The facilities are great," said Belleville. It was the fourth year for the USTRC to bring the Cowboy Capital Classic to Lone Star Arena. For Lone Star Arena, there was virtually no vacancy at the facility. According to Lone Star Arena owners, Paul and Marcie Sullivan, the facility was at complete capacity for their 400 stalls. This event also made Lone Starís biggest capacity event for the year.

Stephenville area team ropers kept part of the $400,000 pay out right here in Erath county. In the open division, header Turtle Powell placed third in the average for a check of $1361. Header David Motes posted the second fastest time overall with a 5.14 time for a check of $300 in the same division. The #15 division saw Jake Brown earn a Regional Shoot-out position gathering second place in the average with a 39.23 combined time and check for $2247. Local Brook Bearden won the fastest time in Rotation 2 with a 5.92 as a $300 check.

Row Hampton is headed to Oklahoma City with a 30.91 average time win and a check for $3894 in the #13 division. Husband and wife team of Ken and Billie Bray are also headed to the USTRC finals after a second place finish in the #11 division average with a 36.71 combined time and a check for $3662 each. Ron Pack and Bill Richards brought up fifth place with a 39.09 average time and a check for $1953 each and a trip to the Regional Shoot-Out and wining the fastest time in the short-go.