background image
Ty Romo and his horse Ush competed at the Ft. McDowell Orme Dam Victory Days All- Indian Rodeo on November 19. Photo by Dodie Manuel

Strong Rodeo Year for Community Member Ty Romo

2016 has been great for 29-year-old cowboy Ty Romo.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member and professional rodeo heeler placed first in team roping in November’s 2016 Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

The win continued a strong 2016 showing for Romo. He was the year-end heeler leader on the INFR tour and top heeler in the 2016 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Turquoise Circuit, which covers Arizona and New Mexico.

“This whole year has been really blessed” Romo said. “Coming into the (INFR) Finals, I had a lot [of] confidence just from doing well throughout the whole year.”

At the INFR Finals in Las Vegas, Romo, along with longtime roping partner Edward Hawley Jr., roped four steers in 32.26 seconds. Hawley is the header and is from Montana.

Team roping requires two mounted riders. First, the header ropes the front of the steer, either around the horn or neck, and then the heeler ropes the steer by its hind feet.

Romo has been roping for years and qualified for the 2016 INFR Finals for the ninth time since he was 16. November’s win is Romo’s second.

“A lot of guys I competed against roped really well,” he said. “They are really good at what they do. I’m just thankful to be able to compete against them.”

Ty Romo (left) and his roping partner Ed Hawley took part in the Ft. Mcdowell Orme Dam Victory Days All-Indian Rodeo, they didn't have much luck and broke the barrier and caught one hind leg resulting in a 15 second penalty putting them out of the money.
Photo by Dodie Manuel
Romo said he’d compete in the World Series of Team Roping in Las Vegas in early December.

Romo practices most days at his home in Cedar Creek, Arizona. He competes on his 11-year-old horse, Ush, which translates to “buddy, friend or cousin” in Apache. Romo has White Mountain Apache family roots.

Competing professionally on the rodeo circuit is close to a fulltime job, Romo said. When he’s not competing, Romo works on a ranch.

Since he was a kid, roping has been his favorite. Romo’s grandfather, the late Steven Lupe, Sr., taught him how to rope.

“This is something I work at quite a bit,” he said. “I practice as much as I can. Every year I rope; I want to get better than yesterday. It’s hard when you get there (the Finals) and do it. Once you get it done (and win), it’s awesome.”

For full 2016 Indian National Finals Rodeo results, visit