Serving the High Plains

Benefit roping event held

A benefit roping event Saturday raised more than $30,000 for a cancer-stricken rancher in rural Tucumcari.

Amanda Montoya, co-organizer of the Loco 4 Koko event at an arena in rural Tucumcari, said the money raised benefits local rancher Carlos Ortiz, who spent weeks in at an Arizona hospital being treated for lymphoma.

She said Monday morning that donations still were arriving, but the preliminary total was more than $30,000.

Ortiz’s cancer is in remission, and he attended the entire 12-hour event Saturday, said local competitive roper Jerry Koile.

“He was there when they ran the first steer, and he was there when they ran the last steer,” he said.

Koile said about 400 roping teams competed. In addition to entry fees, money also was raised from a concession stand, a silent auction and a live auction.

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