Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Ty Romo, 26, is making his seventh appearance at the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR), which will be held November 4-8 at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Romo is the INFR Tour Team Roping Champion (Heeler). He worked hard for this title by traveling to all the rodeos on the tour to qualify for the INFR.
Team roping consists of two ropers: the header, who ropes the front of the steer, around the horns; and the heeler, who ropes the steer’s two hind feet. It came down to the last rodeo, when Romo partnered with Derrick Begay, 2013 INFR Team Roping Champion (Header) and three-time INFR qualifier, a professional Indian cowboy who ropes on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit and is very good friends with Romo. Both grew up together on the Indian rodeo circuit and work on a ranch together.
“I am happy to announce that he is the INFR Tour Team Roping (Heeler) Champion,” said Romo’s mother, Joy Lupe, about her son. “He is a good role model for the younger generation who dream of roping in the Indian National Finals Rodeo. My son’s goal is to rope on the professional circuit, but he needs sponsors.” She explained it gets very expensive traveling to rodeos and that other Indian professional cowboys get by with sponsorships.
Romo was a 2012 INFR champion heeler as well as the 2014 tour year-end champion heeler. He is married to Aleeshiya Romo and they reside in Cedar Creek, Arizona. They have two children: daughter Kelsey, 7, and son Ryan Steven, 2. Romo’s parents are Joy Lupe and the late Alfred Romo; his grandmother is SRPMIC member Verna Osif Espinoza and his maternal grandparents are Norma and the late Steven Lupe, Sr. of Whiteriver.