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Here's A Roping "Dummy" You Can Run By Yourself
For fun, the Unruh family of Cimarron, Kan., enjoys practicing roping with a “robot” steer. The problem is that most roping machines require a second person to run controls and that’s not always easy to arrange. The only unit on the market that didn’t require a second person was a robotic steer named “Buford”.
  “He’s the only dummy on the market you can rope by yourself,” says Deanne Unruh. When she and her husband, Bobby, decided to buy one, they discovered the business was no longer active. So on August 1, 2011, the Unruhs, along with Bobby’s parents, purchased the defunct business.
  Buford has been around a couple decades or more, Unruh says, and has gone through a few upgrades.
  Today Buford is an all-electric, variable-speed heading and heeling machine with head and heel sensors that automatically shut off Buford so you can take the rope off and get your horse ready to go again. He works well for anyone that needs to work a young horse, eliminate bad habits of an older horse or for anyone who ropes just for fun, like the Unruhs, who installed lights so they can rope in the evening after work.
  They’ve sold to a variety of people across North America and overseas.
  “Most every customer says, ‘We have a sled, but my wife is tired of driving the four wheeler’,” Unruh notes.
  Many are retired and want it for themselves or their grandkids. Because of the variable speed, it fits everyone’s skill level. It’s simple to hook up to 20-amp service, and the heavy-duty, steel frame on a center pivot only requires a 65 by 65-ft. area.
  Cost for the stationary model is $4,500 (including shipping).
  The Unruhs also sell Jakesteer, a plastic dummy.
  “Instead of carrying hay, it’s a plastic body with three sets of horn,” Unruh says. “It’s easy to carry around. We take it camping. When we get bored, we get out the dummy and rope.”
  It sells for $325 plus $50 shipping.
  Dealer inquiries are welcome.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rope-O-Matic, P.O. Box 516, Cimarron, Kan. 67835 (ph 800 828-3895; www.rope-o-matic.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6