Ropers lasso for Children’s Hospital
Riders and organizers of the Children’s Hospital Trail Ride eighth annual roping event present belt buckles and sashes to the 2014 inspiration children, Holly Cooper and Leila Guerrero. Joining in the ceremony are (l-r) Jason Meza from CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System; Holly’s parents, Gary and Meredith Cooper; Leila’s mother, Jadyn Travis; and trail ride officers Lupe Valdez (vice president), President Buck Griffin, and Secretary Annette Gorzell.
John Abel Suniga rode off as the top roper during the eighth annual Children’s Hospital Trail Ride (CHTR) team-roping event.Suniga was the high-point winner of the No. 11 and No. 9 roping events, earning saddles and a horse trailer. A total of 1,295 teams competed over the three-day span, with more than $20,000 paid out in cash and prizes to the winners.
Held at the Mesquite Trail Hall and arena in Adkins, this was the first of three events sponsored by the CHTR to benefit the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Foundation.
Suniga won first place March 1 in the No. 11 roping when paired with Todd Cole. He returned to the winners’ circle with Winn Cox in the No. 9 roping event.
Other ropers who also placed in two events included Graves Wallace, who placed seventh and eighth in the No. 11 roping. Joining him was Dustin Henrick, who placed third and sixth in the same event.
In the No. 9 roping, Derrick Jarzombek placed third with Stevie Guajardo. Both men went on to win a second time; Guajardo placed sixth, while Jarzombek placed fifth.
The fund-raiser started Feb. 28, with the No. 13 roping. Little Joe and Dusty Pulsipher roped to take first-place honors in this event.
To conclude the three-day roping March 2, Ron Bly earned high-point roper honors in the No. 8. Bly placed first with Dustin Hedrick. Jim Muraira, who placed third with Jesse Hines, returned to the winners’ circle with a fourth-place finish, paired with Ethan Garza.
In the Beginners Round Robin, George Hinojosa and Robert Reyes outpaced the herd for the top position. Reyes also won fifth place with double winner Jack Kalinowsky, who placed third when paired with Jose Aguilar.
For results, see “Team roping winners.”
The second of the three events -- the 26th annual trail ride -- was held March 14-15 in Cestohowa.
According to the group’s treasurer, Becky Dickson, the ride had 372 people registered, including 155 riders, seven wagons, and three hay wagons full of people.
A Facebook post about the event said “there were five different trail ride groups represented, along with many other people from all over Texas and even Missouri who came out for this great cause.”
The final event was a cookoff held March 29 in Cestohowa.
The purpose of this group is to raise funds for children receiving medical care in the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System. The Children’s Hospital Trail Ride works to provide new equipment “to meet the unique needs of children of South Texas,” Dickson said.
Each year, an “inspiration child” is selected by the trail ride directors. This year, Holly Cooper and Leila Guerrero were selected.
Holly, a twin at birth, weighed only 1 pound, 10 ounces. She developed hydrocephalus and needed brain surgery. According to the group’s website, “Holly continued fighting through 23 surgeries, complete cranial reconstruction, and multiple stays at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.”
Leila, who lacks a functioning immune system, has battled pneumonia several times in her young life. In 2013, she began chest percussion therapy at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to loosen mucus in her lungs.
Want to join?
The Children’s Trail Ride has no membership dues and relies strictly on volunteers.
To volunteer or donate to help, contact President Buck Griffin at 210-421-1494, Vice President Lupe Valdez at 830-391-1459, or Dickson at 210-649-3813.
For more information, visit www.childrenshospitaltrailride.org.
Team roping winners
Winners during the Children’s Hospital Trail Ride eighth annual roping include:
Beginners Round Robin -- George Hinojosa and Robert Reyes, first; Renee Muraira and Adam Muraira, second; Jack Kalinowsky and Jose Aguillar, third; Mike Baird and Adam Muraira, fourth; and Jack Kalinowsky and Robert Reyes, fifth.
No. 13 Roping -- Little Joe and Dusty Pulsipher, first; and Robby Vasburg and Dean Salyer, second.
No. 8 Roping -- Ron Bly, No. 8 High Point Roper of the Day; Dustin Hedrick and Ron Bly, first; Velma Ramirez and Chance Wheeler, second; Jim Muraira and Jesse Hines, third; Jim Muraira and Ethan Garza, fourth; Sergio Garza and Jess R. Gonzales, fifth; and Justin Garza and Ram Perez, sixth.
No. 11 Roping -- Todd Cole and John Abel Suniga, first; Reggie Talamantaz and Toby George, second; Eddie Valenzuela, Jessie Trbula, Robert Silguero, and Dustin Hedrick, third/fourth (tie); Bryan Larison and Adrian Trevino, fifth; Louis Rios and Dustin Hedrick, sixth; Graves Wallace and Cody Davenport, seventh; and Graves Wallace and Doug Bryce, eighth.
No. 9 Roping -- Winn Cox and John Abel Suniga, first; Jake Morrison and Sergio Rojas, second; Derrick Jarzombek and Stevie Guajardo, third; Dallas Martinez and Edward Villarreal, fourth; Derrick Jarzombek and Freddie Cantu, fifth; and Chris Gonzales and Stevie Guajardo, sixth.
No. 11 and No. 9 High Point Winner and horse trailer winner: John Abel Suniga