Youth rodeos and gymkhanas let contestants enter as soon as they turn five years old. Not all rodeo parents jump in that early, but the option is there. Rodeo parents work feverishly to find ponies or horses that fit the level of their children. Witnessing a situation when a kid is “over mounted” is not good and often ends in a wreck or the kid hates horses. At the Shawnee, OK Horse Sale, a young man trained and marketed a blaze face pony to sell that could be roped on, cowboyed on, and was “kid proof.” The young entrepreneur, Mr. Proffitt (pictured), is only 11 years old and sold his pony for $52,000. Many of you saw it on Facebook.
The junior rodeo associations allow entries from ages 5 to 18 years of age. When a kid gets into middle school, he or she is allowed to enter the junior high division of rodeo that is run simultaneously as the high school rodeos. College kids also have miles to travel and things to pay for mostly on their own accord. A lot of times you can find college kids to do one of those mundane tasks you have had on your list for two years, because they need entry fee money.
Getting to the point of cost analysis, rodeo parents are often asked, “How do you afford to rodeo?” It is a legitimate question and we often ask ourselves the same thing. There are a few things that have to be in place to make it happen for most folks. A reliable pickup/semi and horse trailer are a must. There are thousands of miles covered by rodeo families and even though breakdowns occur, extreme measures are taken to prevent them. The most important component in this whole deal is the horse. That price can range from being home-raised and trained to five figure amounts, and often kids need more than one. Saddles, blankets, tack, ropes, hay bags, and on and on are all in rodeo people’s tack rooms and treasure boxes. Then there is the cost of entry fees, fuel, stalls, motel rooms, eating expenses, and of course, the miscellaneous. So to answer the question mentioned above, most parents would answer, “We feel that rodeo is an investment in our children.” Others will often, jokingly or not, comment, “It is cheaper than paying a lawyer to keep them out of jail or a rehabilitation facility.” A lot of people that rodeo, already have the majority of the above-mentioned necessities due to their profession of ranching or a pre-existing hobby of owning horses.
When you see rodeo folks with all of these items, rest assured they have made sacrifices and done careful planning to invest in their most precious commodity, their children. Don’t mistakenly stereotype rodeo people as being rich, they have just done the cost analysis and see that the gain outweighs the expense.
RESULTS from the Mountain States Circuit Finals held October 23-24 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, CO. The top 12 from each event qualify for the three rounds of competition and an average payout. In the bareback riding, Logan Patterson placed 6th in Round 1 (76 points), 7th in Round 2 (79 points), 10th in Round 3 (75 Points), and ended up 7th in the Average. Chet Johnson was crowned the champion in the saddle bronc riding with 243 points on 3 head. In the bull riding, Nathan Hatchel took top honors with 251 points on 3 head. Champion steer wrestler was Kalane Anders 15.5 seconds on 3. In the team roping, Austin Crist and TJ Watts were 2nd in Round 1 (5.5 seconds), split 4th/5th in Round 2 (6.3 seconds), and were 5th in Round 3 (7.1 seconds) to put them 2nd in the Average with 18.9 seconds on 3 head. In the tie-down roping, Jase Staudt was the average winner with 28.7 seconds on 3. In the barrel racing, Shali Lord was 4th in Round 1 (15.04 seconds), 5th in Round 2 (14.92 seconds), and 8th in Round 3 (14.94 seconds) to end up 6th in the Average. The barrel racing champion was Kelly Yates with 44.90 seconds on 3 runs.
“There’s better ways to make a living, but there’s probably no better way to live.” Trevor Brazile. Happy Trails.