Mountain Life Podcast: Spikers Rodeo
The Mountain Life Podcast - Exploring the lives, customs, and passions of those who live and work in high altitude mountain communities.
Ogden Pioneer Days, “Utah’s biggest and best statehood celebration,” centers around five exhilarating nights of PRCA rodeo. Cowboys and cowgirls from across America journey to Pioneer Stadium for the opportunity to shine under the lights and hopefully ride away with cash. For future stars of competitive rodeo, the work starts on frosty mornings during daily exercise for their horses, and long hours of tedious repetitive skills practice all to hopefully ride into the High School Nationals. Three of Utah’s hundreds of young hopefuls live in quaint Ogden Valley and joined us for an interview to help us retain a better understanding of their dedication to their passion for rodeo.
Ty Lopshire - Team and Tie-Down Roping, Trinitie Lopshire - Team Roping, and Gracie Stickler - Barrel Racing, train and compete together. The three teens are members of the Weber County Spikers Rodeo Club. Traveling throughout Utah to rodeo, Ty, Trinitie, and Gracie work to build enough points to qualify for Nationals or even the Silver State International High School Rodeo in Nevada.
Not an inexpensive sport to say the least, with seven-thousand-dollar-plus horses, feed, fuel, entry fees, hotel costs, training facilities, and even wardrobe (always need a good hat, and it’s the rules) adds up. Ty spent the summer on a farm driving a tractor earning money to help offset immense costs. When Ty was asked to give advice to parents of kids who want to rodeo, his response was, “save up your money.” Winnings aren’t earned back in High School Rodeo. The big prize money doesn’t come until much later if the cowboys and cowgirls are lucky enough to make a living in rodeo at all. It becomes about the passion and love of the sport.
Rodeo stars like Trevor Brazile and Fallon Taylor help inspire youth competitors, but it’s personal drive and ambition that gets these kids on their horse every day in all kinds of weather just for a shot at Nationals. To say rodeo builds character is an understatement. But to ensure good sportsmanship, organizers have implemented rules awarding fairness in competition.
For those unfamiliar with the sport of rodeo, terms and instructions like, “rope the dummy,” “miss the header,” and “don’t lean” are explained in the podcast. Gracie’s coach and longtime barrel racer, Kyle McEntire, helped ask probing questions about rodeo to the three teens, but Trinitie, Gracie, and Ty mostly responded with brief humble answers and giggles. The ability to produce short and to the point remarks is an endearing trait unless you’re an interviewer.
The Spikers next big rodeo is in April at Golden Spike Arena and is open to the public. Listen to this podcast and get to know three of the personalities chasing points on their home dirt and help support local rodeo.