(PRCA media release)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Team roping heeler Rickey Green, a 10-time qualifier for the National Finals Rodeo and the 1988 NFR average winner, passed away Oct. 10 at his home in Stephenville, Texas. He was 61.
Green competed in the NFR in 1977-1978, 1982-89. He joined the PRCA in 1976.
In 1988, Green won the average while roping with Charles Pogue.
“I started roping with Charles (Pogue) in July (of 1988) and he really got me fired up again about roping,” Green said in the 1989 PRCA media guide.
Green won his share of prestigious PRCA rodeos, and he also won the prestigious Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping.
Billy Minick, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2018, took a moment to talk about Green’s character.
“Rickey dedicated himself to helping other people and taking a deep interest in them,” Minick said. “He made everyone feel like a champion. In all the years I’ve been around him, I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anyone. His smile lit up the room, and his sense of humor made everyone at ease with him.”
Green loved the challenge of roping steers quickly, often before they were completely turned off by the header, and it is said that the “Crossfire” rule in team roping was implemented in part because of his roping style.
Julio Moreno, who used to be a header for Green, praised his partner in a Feb. 23, 1983, issue of the ProRodeo Sports News.
“Rickey has more talent than anybody going,” Moreno said. “He’s so quick, he can make up a lot of things.”
Green was not only talented at roping, but he also was a talented horseman. He trained seven NFR team roping horses and an AQHA Superior Team Roping horse.
Since 1991, Green focused his talent and love of team roping on making learning to team rope fun for others. He became one of the best-known and qualified team roping instructors around the world. He showed a special interest in novice, youth and senior ropers. The stories of Green’s passion for helping others become successful would fill volumes, and nothing made Green prouder than to see one of his students succeed.
In 2001, Green released his first video in a series called “Knowledge and Techniques for Power Team Roping.” His website, “Rickey Green’s Power Team Roping,” provides the most viewed team roping instructional videos.
Green’s wife of 31 years, Kelly, also a top horsewoman, was the videographer and editor of his team roping videos. Rickey was proud when she shifted her equestrian skills from team roping to jumping horses. Their daughter, Whitney, recently graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree and is working on a master’s degree.
The family team roping roots run deep. Green’s father, Virgil, has a sister, Darlene, who married World Champion Team Roping Heeler Walt Woodard, while Virgil’s brother, Vernon, is the father of Daniel and Chris Green.
Per Green’s wishes, there will be no service, and the family requests memorials be sent to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.