Kim Thomas has been a horse trainer most of her life. Her business savvy and horsemanship skills have carried her to compete in the Barrel […]
5 Star Champion: Mike & Sherrylynn Johnson
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
“5 Star has been part of Mike and Sherrylynn Johnson’s team for 10 years. “The Moore family built their life around rodeo and passing their knowledge on to others,” said Sherrylynn. “What they do for kids everywhere is amazing. Without what they do for the kids we couldn’t do what we do. One of the visions for 5 Star and our event is to see their grandchildren compete in this event. They’ve been with us forever from our clinics to the beginning of the event on. They are a family run business that knows what’s going on … they are from the heart and really understand it.”
Sherrylynn is talking about Vegas Tuffest, which started out fouryears ago with Mike’s vision. “He wanted to give back to the kids from what we’ve accomplished, and we wanted them to run at the most money possible. He created it and I’m part of the package,” she said. “We built it into a million dollar event for the kids .. not including the prizes – two trucks and two trailers, electric bikes, saddles, pads, boots, and a whole bunch of other product.” Mike and his traveling partner, best friend, and wife, Sherrylynn agree that Vegas Tuffest is exactly what they envisioned and more.
“We have put the qualifiers in states like Indiana and North Dakota, and in the states where the kids can get that opportunity to run in this – it makes them grow and gives them a stage to be on that they’ve never been on.”
“I don’t know any other way of life,” said Mike Johnson, who went straight from high school to the rodeo road in 1982. “I’ve never held a job, I just rodeo. I was an event representative in the PRCA for tie down for four years, but that’s as close to a job as I’ve had.” Born and raised in Henryetta, Okla., he started roping when he was 6 and went to his first rodeo at 10. He had his PRCA card at 18. “Rodeo is what I’ve wanted to do – I have no regrets. You meet a lot of people and go a lot of places.”
“I think if there was a male me, it would be Mike,” said his wife. “When you’re in a box as much as we are – truck or horse trailer – you’ve got to be best friends – you’re together constantly.” They shared the same common goal that they had and accomplished – to make the Wrangler National Finals. Along the way, they are giving back through our Vegas Tuffest event.
The couple has built their life around rodeo and passing their knowledge on to others. Mike started doing clinics 30 years ago. “We started helping kids in small groups,” said Sherrylynn. “We don’t have kids, I don’t have patience for young horses, but I do with the kids.” The couple has worked their entire life to do what they are doing now and a large portion of their time is devoted to managing the qualifiers for Vegas Tuffest, held Nov 30-Dec 5, starting with the back number ceremony, at the Expo at World Market Center, Las Vegas.
Part of the Vegas Tuffest program is set up to help kids get to Vegas. “25% of the 850 kids coming this year are part of that program – they are sponsored through Vegas Tuffest Sponsorship Program. This program partners sponsors with contestants. The Sponsor pays for the contestant, allowing them to have five hotel nights, five nights of a stall, and entry fees paid. Some of those kids that are sponsored win, and then the sponsor gets a chance to win money as well.
“For some kids, winning at Vegas Tuffest can be life changing – they could win as much as $30,000 per event – that’s life changing.”