The last time I wrote I was just getting back on the horse if you will after my sports hernia surgery and I am happy to tell you it has been a successful comeback with my recent win at the 25th Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City.
I will rewind for a bit to catch you up on what I have been up to. My first rodeo back was La Fiesta de los Vaqueros in Tucson, Ariz., where I ended up tied for 2nd place in the bareback riding. I was extremely excited with my result and also in how I felt. I competed in the team roping there as well but didn’t have any luck. RodeoHouston was a big test for me with the caliber of buckers there and the number I got on. I was pretty sore after Houston but felt much better this past weekend after the DNCFR. It just takes a while to get all my strength back but hoping to be 100-percent by May.
While in Texas, I did some team roping and got to spend several days with Speed Williams. It was very eye opening and I really learned a lot from Speed. I had four days of lessons which included lots of roping and the best video review. They were pretty ugly at first but they got better. I am hoping it will start showing in my team roping. I would recommend anyone who wants to raise their level on the roping end to visit speedroping.com and sign-up for lessons, it will be the best money you ever spent.
As some of you know at the end of last year I got a motorhome to have a better way to take the family with me. It worked for the short-term but at the beginning of the year we realized it wasn’t going to work for the long haul. While we were in Texas, we traded it in on a different rig that is more rodeo compatible. We are really enjoying it and I have posted a picture of it in the photo gallery.
After Houston and Austin, I headed to Helena, Mont., with Jason Havens to put on a bareback riding school like I did last year. We had a great turnout with 24 students for bareback riding and then another 9 that came for the saddle bronc riding school taught by Shaun Stroh. This was probably the best group of students I have had the privilege to teach as they all tried hard and would do anything you asked without making excuses. The majority of the students were new this year and we only had about 3 or 4 that were return students from last year. They were mostly Junior and Seniors in high school with a few 14-15 years old and one in his late 30s. It was just a great group with lots of talent. I was very thankful to have Jason helping me out as we were able to cover a lot of material over the weekend.
Speaking of rodeo schools, I have set my dates for my annual bareback riding school in Madras, Ore. This year’s event will be June 3-5 so look for more information here my website.
From the rodeo school, I headed back to Arizona in time to drive over to Laughlin, Nev., where I tied for fourth in the bareback riding. I then flew to Oklahoma City for the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo. I have never been able to capture this coveted title until this year. It seems like in years past I would do well but then on the last day would end up injured or wouldn’t quite have the horse to get the job done. Thankfully that all changed this year- I felt good and I got on two outstanding horses in Carr Pro Rodeo’s Big Lights and Classic Pro Rodeo’s Big Tex in the semifinal and final round, respectively. I finished with an 85 on Big Lights to win the semifinal round and returned to finish in a tie with Kaycee Feild with a 90-point ride. Since I had the higher marked ride in the semifinals, I came out on the right side of the tie-breaker. It was a great feeling and I am very happy to add that title to my resume.
Now I am busy trying to get things packed here in Arizona so we can head back to Oregon and be ready for the spring rodeo run and the start of the Circuit rodeos. I will head to Logandale and then Pocatello and then I will be Oregon bound. Although I am not ready to leave this nice weather, it is that time of the year to get back to the northwest.
I am really looking forward to the next several months. I will be roping with Ryan Powell through the end of April and then throughout the coming months but this summer I am going to join forces with the Mike Beers and hit several of the rodeos up in Canada. Mike called and told me what he was thinking and it sounds like a good deal where I can rope and ride bareback horses at several of the Canadian rodeos, while still competing in the States in the bareback riding. Being able to rope with Mike and learn from him is much like the opportunity I got when I traveled with Clint Corey. The experience you get from being with these guys is priceless and I am thrilled to have this opportunity.
The kids have been staying busy as well. All of them have been riding a lot. Laura competed in a barrel race while we were in Texas and since she didn’t have her horse she just jumped on one of my head horses. That is one thing about her the type of horse doesn’t matter. Charlie has been a big help around the place and is still trying to sell his nice wooden bench, so if you are in need of a really nice bench for your front porch give me a call and I will hook you up. As for Trey he has been going non-stop. I am not sure where that kid gets all of his energy but he sure has a lot.
I think that about does it from here. I better get back to packing so I will be ready to leave in a few days. Be sure to visit my website for my latest schedule and results.
Thanks for your prayers and support,
Four-time and reigning PRCA World Champion Bareback Rider