By the grace of God, there are still men and women who make their living in the saddle. Unfortunately for us at Spin To Win Rodeo, editor Bob Welch is heading back to that life after only cowboying part-time while he captained this ship for the last 16 1/2 years.
In a sometimes-fly-by-night industry like rodeo, Bob’s steady hand and dedication to the Cowboy Code set him apart, something you undoubtedly noticed by the way he handled controversy on these pages over the years. The guy has perspective, and that perspective tempered his writing and taught those of us who worked with and for him to take a deep breath and remember that life’s about a lot more than a Monday morning deadline or an all-night drive between Salt Lake and Cheyenne.
Six years ago this month, Bob took me with him to Pikes Peak or Bust in Colorado Springs, Colo., on my first outing as a member of this team. Without hesitation, he introduced me to a quiet, kind-of-quirky guy who he was working with on a training article. That guy was Derrick Begay, and that introduction set the tone for the rest of my career. Bob’s method was always to get to know the good guys, tell their stories and count on them to help shape this magazine. That’s the same style our editor Kendra Santos has used in the years she’s relied on Jake Barnes and Clay O’Brien Cooper to be our guiding lights, and it’s the strategy you can always count on us to use going forward.
Speaking of good guys, we’ve got an issue jam-packed with them. Erich Rogers (pg. 25), Barnes (pg. 30) and Cooper (pg. 40) all discuss how critical communicating a strategy and sticking with it is to success at every level of the game. On page 60, you’ll want to sit down and take a quiet moment to read Santos’ take on the five-year anniversary of Broc Cresta’s passing. She’s able to connect with Broc’s friends and family, including the NFR cowboys who loved him, in a way no other writer can.
We hope that while Bob may be out there riding fences right now, you’ll see his leadership still evident for years to come in this magazine. Our goal is and will always be to tell the stories you want to read, with the roping advice that will help you write your own story in and out of the arena.