Gripp Memorial started in 1994 by a group of cowboys who wanted to put on a roping for a special friend. That friend was Spicer Gripp! Spicer was known through out the panhandle for his love of kids and the sport of rodeo. You'd often catch him taking a kid to the side and offereing a bit of old fashion advice - what he really gave those young athletes was confidence to compete harder and smarter on their next run. Hopefully, there are many who still hold those bits of wisdom and have the same passion Spicer did to pass it on along to the next generation. He wasn’t into the flashy expensive rigs and horses; “’cause it’s not what you show up in, it’s what you do in the arena and what you go home with.” If a roper had a problem with a horse he would ask, “been riding him much?” - seemed like Spicer knew that good horses took a lot of time and patience to create.
Spicer would be humbled by what those cowboys have done over the past twenty plus years. A simple man, he'd think it was all too much, but he would certainly be proud of all the cowboys and cowgirls who have had a chance to reach higher or go further with the help of the Spicer Gripp Scholarship given at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.
Spicer Gripp passed away about two decades ago, but his spirit lives on. The people involved in the Spicer Gripp Memorial Roping each year remember Spicer well. They can tell you more about him, but prefer to lead by example – Spicer taught them that. In 1995 Tom Timberlake wrote a poem honoring Spicer Gripp. The last verse reads, “Rest in peace dear friend for your work down here is done, but the lessons you taught and the legend you left will see no setting sun.”
The Spicer Gripp Memorial Roping is held the first weekend in August each year. Come watch, come rope, come volunteer to help.
Come to Hereford and Get a Gripp!