All tied up

Madison’s Saddle Up Arena
plays host to equine roping events

Hartfields plan to hold
other events in Madison this season

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(May 2008) – There is one Charlestown, Ind., family that certainly knows how to stay all tied up. That’s because the Hartfields are a family of team roping enthusiasts. Now, Jeff and Jaime Hartfield have brought the equine sport to Madison, Ind.

In April, the Hartfield’s Double Hart Ranch held a Spring Dash for Cash and Trailer and Saddle Extravaganza at the Saddle Up Arena in Madison. The arena is situated at the River Valley Ranch, located just off Hwy. 256 on North Badger Road. More than $17,000 in prizes and cash were given away at the event.
River Valley Ranch is managed by Lance and Kelly Carr of Henryville, Ind. Carr’s parents, Joe and Jan Shulthise, of Louisville, Ky., purchased the ranch last year from Chuck Blair, who operated a quarter horse facility there for years.
The Hartfields plan to hold several other team roping events at Saddle Up Arena on June 21, Sept. 20 and Oct. 18. They have planned to hold eight team roping events at various venues across the region this season. All of the competition are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to come out and watch the action.
In team roping, competitions are divided in talent divisions, explained Jeff. “Ropers are handicapped like golfers,” he said. Two national team roping associations, The U.S. Team Roping Championships and the National Team Roping League keep a database of ropers and their experience levels.
Jeff has been team roping since about 1992. In the sport, partners on horses have to chase a 600-pound steer and rope its horns and back legs. Jamie, 33, also ropes, as does Scotty, 15 and Brandon, 14. The family travels the country participating in team roping events. They have amassed a collection of prize saddles and buckles. Jeff has even won a horse trailer.
“We started our series about nine years ago,” said Jeff, 43. “We wanted to bring good quality regional and national events to this area.”
He said Saddle Up Arena is one of the best facilities in this area, so people were excited about coming there.
Curt Divine of Morganfield, Ky., was one of the competitors at the recent team roping event. Divine, 28, has competed for years as a team roper. He has won numerous regional championships. This was his first time to compete at Saddle Up Arena in Madison. “Things are going good here,” he said. “It’s a nice event.”
Evan Lee, of Rockville, Ind., was also a competitor at the event. Lee, 43, has been competing for more than 18 years as a team roper. He won the North American Championship at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds last year.
“The prizes, including thousands in cash for the winners, the saddles and trailer are very nice,” he said. Both men were waiting to compete in the Trailer and Saddle Extravaganza in which winners could win a saddle, a trailer and up to $1,000.
Several Southern Indiana business help sponsor the Double Hart Ranch’s team roping events. These include Dan Christiani Excavating, Jeffersonville, Ind.; Southern Indiana Equine Services, Austin, Ind.; Advantage Electrical, Greenville, Ind.; and Hartfield Co., New Albany, Ind. Hartfield Co is a financial planning company owned by Jeff.

• For more information about the Double Hart Ranch Team Roping events, call (812) 987-5000.

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