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POSTED September 23, 2011 10:16 p.m.

Despite the near-century mark temperatures on Thursday and Friday, hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls saddled up for the American Cowboy Team Roping Association’s State Finals held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds this week. The four-day event was expected to bring in 2,000 participants.

Team roping requires close cooperation and timing between two highly skilled ropers — a header and a heeler — and their horses. The header ropes first and must make one of three legal catches on the steer around both horns, around one horn and the head or around the neck. Any other catch by the header is considered illegal and the team is disqualified.

The ACTRA California Finals event is free and open to the public. Roping action can still be seen from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. until the end of competition on Sunday. The Stanislaus County Fairgrounds are located at 900 N. Broadway, Turlock.

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