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Just like the pros: Rogers, Tsinigine win Northern Navajo Fair open team roping

Just like the pros: Rogers, Tsinigine win Northern Navajo Fair open team roping

SHIPROCK – It’s been about five years since Erich Rogers entered the rodeo at the Northern Navajo Fair.

The last time the Round Rock, Arizona cowboy competed at the Shiprock rodeo the old arena was setup near the midway carnival. He made his return trip worthwhile as he won the open team roping with partner Aaron Tsinigine at the 110th annual event.

The two PRCA veterans posted a swift 4.92 run to beat out 52 other teams.

“I don’t know if I gave him a good handle, but Aaron ropes pretty good,” Rogers said of their Sunday morning slack run. “He used to heel for a long time, and he heels really good. I just got the steer and turned it for him, and he just did a good job cleaning it up.”

Tsinigine said they did their homework as they saw that steer go before they roped.

“We’ve seen him go, and Rogers got on him fast,” he said. “When he’s fast like that I just got to go catch. He just makes my job a lot easier.”

The pair edged second-place winners Trey Begay and Troy Begay as that team posted a 5.09 run. The team of Bill Dahozy/Lucius Sells took third with a 5.17 run followed by the team of Daryl Boyd/Jason Yazzie (5.67), Cory Baker/Logan Filfred (5.81) and Doyle Lee/Tyler James (5.84).

“There were a few teams that made five-second runs,” Rogers said. “I think 5.8 was the last hole, so it was within a second between first and sixth, so it was a good roping.

“They had some good cattle, and they had some good steers for us to rope,” he added.

This was Tsinigine’s second consecutive Northern Navajo Fair championship, having won last year’s event with father-in-law Victor Begay.

With Rogers hosting an event in his hometown of Round Rock the previous day, Tsinigine said they decided to compete together since it was “right over the mountain.”

“It’s only an hour away from here,” he said. “I stayed at his house and anytime we come to these rodeos we consider them as hometown rodeos so every time we come back it’s special.”

For much of the year the pair have spent their time competing in the professional ranks as Rogers is headed back to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in early December.

Tsinigine, meanwhile, missed the cut by five spots.

“This is where I expected to finish,” the Tuba City cowboy said of his 20th place finish in the world standings. “When I started this year, I was being realistic about things, so I wasn’t bummed that I didn’t make the NFR.

“I got a new horse and we’re just testing everything out, kind of like trial and error,” Tsinigine said. “He’s getting seasoned right now. I bought him from a lady in Texas so I’m starting from the ground up.”

Tsinigine said his new horse is starting to figure things out and he’s hoping to have him primed for the 2025 PRCA season.

Rogers said he’s excited to be making his way back to the NFR after a one-year hiatus. He will be joined by fellow Diné competitors Danielle Lowman and Derrick Begay.

“Last year wasn’t fun,” he said. “It was terrible, but it happens. It was a tough last year and the good thing about it is there is always another year to look at it and reset goals and gain a new perspective of rodeoing in trying to get back to the NFR one more time.”

Rogers said he and Begay had a good year with the Seba Dalkai, Arizona cowboy sitting at No. 5 while he sits at No. 8 heading into the 2023 NFR.

“Rodeo was good this year,” Rogers said. “Derrick did a phenomenal job there at the end with him and Colter Todd. They had a pretty good summer and they kind of coasted through the end of the year.

“I’m kind of excited to get back over there and represent the Navajo Nation and Indian Country,” he added. “It’s gonna be fun and I’m excited.”

As for his event on Saturday, Rogers said he hosted a team roping jackpot that had about 200 teams. He also had a kids dummy roping with the winners earning some nice prizes.

“The dummy roping was more important to me,” he said. “It was my way of giving back. It’s a great feeling to give back because there are a lot of people that look up to us. I got a chance to go home and see the kids with their big smiles.”

The professional team roper said his dummy roping event gave away saddles, buckles, boots, bags and ropes.

“Most of my sponsors helped me out with that so it was a good day for the kids,” Rogers said. “The saddles will be with them for eternity and hopefully that’ll inspire them. Hopefully they’ll have big dreams and pursue them just like the way I did.”


About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com

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