Chelsea Toy has been the managing editor of Spin To Win Rodeo for five years, giving her some insight into the team roping and rodeo industries. She'll use this space to occasionally share some updates and commentary on the forces at work in the team roping world.

Jeremy Buhler: Letter to My Younger Self

February 15, 2017
A few weeks ago, I asked reigning World Champ Jeremy Buhler if he'd be up for writing a letter to his younger self. As it turns out, Buhler has been writing letters to himself for a while now–a mental strategy that undoubtedly sets him apart from the pack. I won't say too much more–just enjoy this special read, brought to you by CSI Saddlepads.


You're 22, you feel like your skill level is behind for your age compared to other guys your age, and you're right. You are behind. You need to make up for lost time. When you practice, practice to get good--you can't waste time just going through the motions.

Don’t worry about the day job. In a few months you will win the World Series Finale, and you’ll have more money than you've ever had. Keep living broke, 100 grand will go faster than you think. You're going to buy your permit this year and rope with Clint. You're going to take his truck and trailer everywhere all year to the Canadian ProRodeos, don't take that for granted. Appreciate the fact that he's got a whole lot more invested in that partnership than you do since you don't have a good truck or a trailer. When you guys practice all day, every day have fun. Don't sweat it when you screw one up, trust the process. You're working at it all day, every day, and when you put in that amount of sweat and time you will be successful. When you guys have your differences, control your emotions and go your different road without being dramatic. Family comes before roping.

The year after you roped with your oldest brother, you'll really appreciate the things he did the prior years because you won't have anybody doing them for you anymore. You're going to bite off more than you can chew that year. You'll find out that just because you put your name down, that doesn't mean you're going to make it to the Canadian Finals.

It's going to be one heck of a learning curve rodeoing in the US for your first couple years. The set ups are a lot different than you're used to, on the longer scores you can't drive the steers left, you need to work on your scoring and learn how to keep the run in the middle. You're going to rope a lot of legs. You're not going to win much.

Don’t worry about what everybody else thinks, nobody is judging you as hard as you're judging yourself. Don't make excuses or blame your horse when you don't win. Be real with yourself, and write down your weaknesses without taking it personal. Watch the guys that make the Finals every year and win gold buckles. What are they all doing that you're not? Go home and work on it. A lot of people are going to be pulling for you to do well, just as many will be calling you crazy for running with the big dogs. Let the naysayers motivate you when you don't feel like heeling the saw horse in -10 degree weather.

When unexpected tragedies happen this year, bear down and focus on roping. Every night you spend roping your saw horse in the headlights of your truck will pay off eventually. The next year you'll win enough to go all year and have a chance till the end, come up short and max out your credit card. Make it a priority to pay off the balance or you'll be paying 19% compound interest for the next three years. You'll have a few sponsors that will be with you during this time that help keep your head above water. You’re going to experience some extreme highs and lows these first couple years.
When you come back first and second high call back and screw them up, don't throw a fit. You'll need the money bad and lay it beside the high-team steer three different times. Heeling can be a cruel sport.

Be thankful that even though you missed for easy money you have the opportunity to go work on the rigs and make enough money to rodeo the next year. In the grand scheme of things, it's the same result, just a little less convenient to work the night shift on the drill floor.

After the last couple years rodeoing, you're going to doubt your dun horse. It's good to always be trying to upgrade your horsepower, but give the dun some credit, he's going to play a huge part in your career in the next couple years. You're going to rodeo another season and miss the NFR again. Stay positive with the fact that you were close enough that if a couple steers went your way you could have made it. Just like the first year, write down what you felt your weaknesses were that year. Be real with yourself, you have too much time and money invested now to plateau. You do not want to be the guy telling stories about how he could have made it if... Make your weaknesses strengths and do whatever you gotta do to come back better for 2016.

You and Levi are going to be in the top 15 from San Antonio until October 1. So when you rope a leg to win Ponoka, miss your dally at Cody and swat the loper at Cheyenne, don't even worry about it. Listen to Doug when he tells you there's 100 million people that don't care that you missed that steer. Don't let your performance in the arena dictate who you are outside of the arena. You are not helping your cause by judging yourself and moping around after screwing one up. Katie is going to be there for you through it all, so don't burn her ears up venting, be thankful she's there to tell you to stay out there and that you can do it. If you listen to anything in this letter, listen to my next piece of advice. I know you don't think so now, but your character in and out of the arena is far more important than your performance in the arena. Nobody is going to remember the steer you heeled to win the rodeo in a year, but they'll remember the fool you made out of yourself for throwing a fit in 20 years. There's some things you can say and do that you can't take back. Silence will never embarrass you. Like I said earlier, you're going to let several high money steers get away--learn to deal with your emotions today.

Don't ever second guess your team. If you or your header are having some trouble, keep your hammer cocked, right about the time you're worried about it he'll duck back five in a row and your mind won't be right and you'll miss out on the opportunity to win. When you're in debt up to your ears and haven't won a check in three weeks, believe in the work you've put in and the fact that every storm runs out of rain. Stick to the same plan it's been since you were 15: ONE STEER AT A TIME. The dun horse you didn't think was good enough is going to play a huge roll in the second half of 2016. You're going to finish the year on him and make it to the National Finals. Trucks, trailers, a house, new sponsors and everything else will come from what you do on that horse, so buy him the extra bag of shavings, the best hay and let him out to walk around on those long drives. In the next few years the only regrets you'll have are the times you didn't have a good time because you were down because roping didn't go your way. Be thankful for everything, the life lessons, sponsorships and friendships you will make. Enjoy the entire journey, not just the times where roping went your way.


PRCA/Bryan Oller Photo

Erich Rogers Gears Up for CINCH Timed Event Championship

By Chelsea Toy, February 09, 2017
Erich Rogers grew up heading, heeling, roping calves and bull dogging on the Navajo Nation, and he's honed his skills in the steer tripping in the last few years in preparation for the Lazy E's CINCH Timed Event Championships. He's been on the edge of greatness in the famed red-dirt arena in years past, and he's as ready as ever this year to get some redemption. Last year he missed the Timed Event because he nearly cut his thumb off at a ranch rodeo, but he's long-since healed and ready for action. Coming off a big win in Fort Worth, Texas, with partner Cory Petska, Rogers is in Texas sharpening up his tripping as we speak. 

What horses are you bringing to the CINCH Timed Event Championship?

I’m taking a new head horse I just bought. I’m taking Ote Berry’s grey bull dogging horse, my calf horse Red Light, JoJo LeMond’s tripping horse and Paden Bray’s heel horse Slider.

Who is helping you?

Paden Bray is heeling for me and hopefully JoJo heading. Ote will haze--but I guess I better call him to make sure. 

What's the worst wreck you've had there?

I ran into the wall. I was sitting good in the average, and I needed to throw that steer down. I ran down a country mile to get that horse, I got back on, ran him down the wall, jumped, and the steer set up and I went off into the wall. 

What was your best finish there?

I won seventh once, I won second in the fast time. 

What keeps you coming back?

It’s pretty fun, you don’t get to go to an event like that where you run five head in each event five times. I grew up trying to be an all-around hand–heading, heeling and roping calves. I bull dogged a bit in high school and I always wanted to trip.

How did you learn to trip?

Shannon Stahl told me I had to come to his house and practice. I took his grey horse so I went to practice there. I ran about four steers and off we went. Brent Lewis helped me out quite a bit too.

What do you think about the Jr. Ironman this year?

It’s pretty cool for those young guys. It’s nice for them to have a chance to do something like that and compete in all of the events. They need to know to not give up and to keep trying even if something goes wrong. It's just one steer or calf at a time there. 

Myers Injured, Mitchell to Fill In at CINCH Timed Event Championship

By Chelsea Toy, February 05, 2017
Gosh dang I hate to hear that Cash Myers is hurt. The only bright side to that is that we'll all get to see Spencer Mitchell get some sweet redemption at this year's CINCH Timed Event Championship. After he tore his knee to shreds in the first round of the 2014 CTEC, nobody thought they'd see him jump for a steer again. But the father-to-be says he's better than ever and ready for some serious all-around action. 

Why did you want to come back to the CINCH Timed Event Championship?

I know that I can do better than I have in the past. I want to prove to myself I can still do it.

How many times have you been to the CTEC?

Twice. The first time I didn’t do very good and the second time I tore my knee up in the first round.

Have you had time to put a team of horses together?

I decided I was going to do it about 20 minutes ago, so not entirely. I’m not sure what I’m going to head on yet, and I’m going to heel on a 6-year-old mare of my in-laws, Bella. I’m riding my old tripping horse from California because I'm confident on him, and Cody Doescher told me I can ride his steer roping horse. My calf horse is still up in the air at the moment. I had called the Lazy E last week and was pumped about going. They told me they’d called someone else the week before, and that they never thought to call me because they were afraid I wouldn’t want to because of my knee.

Have you bull dogged since Round 1 of the 2014 Timed Event?

I’m going to bull dog next week. That was my biggest kicker—I need to find a horse I could practice on before hand. Cody told me I could go practice so that decided it.

Do you have a helper lined up?

I’m not sure who is going to help me. I just kind of officialed it 20 minutes ago.

You do have the record at the Lazy E in the heading, right?

Yeah, Dakota (Kirchenschlager) and I were 4.3 in the heading. That was after I tore my knee.

Do you have any advice for the Jr. Ironman competitors?

Start at it slow. The first year I went, I wasn’t quite ready. At the last round I wanted another round. It’s a drawn out, long deal. A guy has to stay patient.

Cinch Timed Event Q&A with Lane Karney

By Chelsea Toy, February 02, 2017

When I called Lane Karney to ask him about the CINCH Timed Event Championship, I started with, "How many times have you been to the Lazy E to watch?" I was surprised when he said, "Never." 

You see, Lane's proud mama is none other than Kendra Santos, our editor-in-chief, who regularly makes the trip to Guthrie for the Timed Event. She's been writing our coverage of the Ironman event for the last 20 years (yup, it's our 20th anniversary this month!) and I was truly surprised to hear that her eldest son had never tagged along. 

But it makes sense--Karney has been too busy in the practice pen mastering his heading, heeling, tie-down roping and bull dogging as he makes his way through the ProRodeo ranks. Karney made the College National Finals Rodeo for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and he's made his mark heading in the California Circuit where he won the Circuit Finals in 2015 and qualified for the Circuit Finals in the tie-down roping, too. He'll be one of the young-guns vying for the $100,000 payday at the CINCH Timed Event Championship this year. 

Were you surprised when you go the call to sub-in at the CINCH Timed Event Championship?

I knew I was a potential replacement. Kyle Lockett told me I should try to get in. They told me to practice like I was coming, and sure enough, I got the call. 

What event will be the biggest challenge?

I’m going to say the one I’m going to feel the least confident in is the tripping. I’m going to go get some help from Jarrett Blessing. I’ve been tying some on the ground. I tripped one with Kyle Lockett and I’m going to jump into it next week.

What horses are you taking?

I’m going to take my own head, heel and calf horse. I don’t know what I’m going to ride in the tripping and the steer wrestling yet.

Who is helping you?

Dalton Pearce is heeling for me, and I’m not 100-perent on my header. I’m trying to get Lance Brooks to go, but that’s not for sure.

You've bull dogged a lot, have you had any bad wrecks?

I honestly haven’t had any bad wrecks bull dogging so to speak of. I’ve always really liked bull dogging. I’m excited.

Why did you want to enter the Timed Event?

I know what it means to be there. I’ve always had a lot of respect for the all-around guys. Nowadays, so many guys are so specialized. Here you get to showcase each event--it's a cowboy's event, and it's a real honor that the Lazy E invited me. 


CINCH Timed Event Championship Rookie: Q&A with Shay Carroll

By Chelsea Toy, February 02, 2017

I first met Shay Carroll when he won the College National Finals in Casper, Wyo., for Northeastern Junior College with Tyler Schnaufer in 2012. Since then, he's gone on to qualify for two Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and win RodeoHouston. While honing his heeling, he's stayed sharp in the tie-down roping, winning four all-around titles in 2016 and tying for the win in the calf roping at Alberta's Grande Prairie Stampede. We'll get to see him for the first time this year in CINCH Timed Event Championship Action. 

How long have you wanted to go to the CINCH Timed Event Championship?

It’s always something I’ve wanted to do. I’ve known about it since I was little. I always prepared knowing someday I’d go. The whole reason I bull dogged in high school and college is that I thought I’d be at the Timed Event someday. 

Past bull dogging experience?

I started bull dogging in high school. Jace Honey lives right by my house, and I went to his school growing up. I bull dogged my sophomore, junior and senior years of high school and the first two years of college. I’m no Luke Branquinho, and I’m not going to throw one in the stands. But I think I usually get them caught. 

Any tripping experience?

I haven’t started yet. That is starting this Saturday. I’m getting help from Bryce Davis. He’s been to the steer roping finals and the Timed Event. He offered to help me. He has tripping steers and a good horse. I’m going to stay there next week and try to trip everyday.

Are you worried about injury?

No. I think there are people who get hurt of course, but I’m not worried about it.

What horses are you bringing?

I don’t know all that yet. I’ve got a calf horse, QB, I bought in Canada. I wasn’t in the Timed Event last year, but I bought that horse wanting to get in. 

Will your family be there?


What are you most looking forward to?

The experience. One of the reasons I always liked the Timed Event is that it’s a slower-paced, more horsemanship event. The guys with a tougher mental game show up. That’s what I want to see. I’ve done other timed-event deals without bull dogging or tripping. It’s more of a mental sport. You’re trying not to make mistakes, and that is all mental. You have to think SCORE RIDE ROPE 25 times. That makes it a mental game.



World Series of Team Roping

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Where-To-Rope Guide


9/15; ACTRA Roping, Brown’s Valley, (530) 701-9456 9/28; WSTR Qualifier, Norco, (909) 223-1215 10/26; WSTR Qualifier, Riverside, (909) 223-1215
11/29-12/1; Maui Classic, Makawao, (254) 968-0002
9/1-2; ACTRA Roping, Sparks, (775) 848-9387 9/4; ACTRA Roping, Reno, (618) 670-4963 9/7; ACTRA Roping, Gardnerville, (775) 781-8861 9/7; ACTRA Roping, Fernley, (775) 690-4560 10/5; ACTRA Roping, Fallon, (775) 690-4560
8/31; ACTRA Roping, Stanfield, (541) 571-1373 8/31; ACTRA Roping, Hermiston, (541) 571-1373 8/31; ACTRA Roping, Terrebonne, (541) 815-3811 9/1; ACTRA Roping, Terrebonne, (541) 815-3811 9/7; WSTR Qualifier, Pendleton, (406) 360-2225
9/7; ACTRA Roping, Colville, (509) 680-2145 9/14; ACTRA Roping, Deer Park, (509) 951-0461 9/15; ACTRA Roping, Sunnyside, (509) 945-0422 10/6; ACTRA Roping, Sunnyside, (509) 945-0422 10/7; ACTRA Roping, Colville, (509) 680-2145


9/13-14; GCPRA Rodeo Sept., Holbrook, (254) 968-0002 9/21; GCPRA Rodeo Sept., Duncan, (254) 968-0002 9/21-22; Navajo Nation Championships, Window Rock, (254) 968-0002 10/5; GCPRA Rodeo Oct., Wilcox, (254) 968-0002
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