Meet the Member Caden Stoddard
story by Lillian Landreth Caden Stoddard has been in the saddle since he was old enough to hold the reins, and many of his earliest […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Dalton Sheridan of Faith, S.D., spent the early years of his childhood travelling the United States watching team ropers at USTRC ropings. In such a contagious atmosphere, it was only natural that he caught the roping fever, and he picked up his own rope by the time he was six. “My aunt, Becky Sheridan, is a tack vendor with Steer Crazy, and my dad helped her quite a bit, so we’d travel all over to team ropings,” explains 18-year-old Dalton. “Team roping is what I’d known. I fell in love with it from the start, and it was hard to get my mind on something else!” Though Dalton tried riding steers, his rope bag held more appeal than a bull rope, and going to watch the USTRC finals in Oklahoma City, Okla., when he was in junior high made up his mind completely. “I saw all those guys winning lots of money, and that’s what motivated me the most!”
A header, Dalton has been rodeoing with the SDHSRA since he was a freshman, and this summer marks his final year with the association. “I’m excited to see something new, but I’m also a bit sad to let everybody go – you can’t replace high school!” says Dalton, who graduated from Faith High School on May 17th. He also played football and basketball throughout high school, lettering for three years in varsity in both sports. He’s spending his summer rodeoing with the SDHSRA and putting every bit of effort into qualifying for the NHSFR. His sophomore year he placed fifth in the team roping, and is determined to not finish one out of the qualification this time. He also rodeos with the SDRA and ropes with the USTRC, but calls the SDHSRA finals in Belle Fourche one of his favorite rodeos, especially enjoying the town and set up of the state high school finals.
An added bonus, the finals are less than two hours from Dalton’s home in Faith. He and his family make their home just at the outskirts of town. Dalton’s two sisters, Shali (16) and Katie (9), both rodeo, with Shali and Dalton often team roping together, sometimes on a few of their younger horses in training. The siblings’ parents are Jim and Jami Sheridan, and Dalton calls his dad his role model. “My parents helped me a lot, and I look up to my dad because he’s honest and hardworking all the time,” says Dalton. Both his parents have rodeoed in the past, with Jim roping in the USTRC previously, and Jami rodeoing in high school.
Dalton is spending a good portion of his summer roping, particularly on his mare, Lena, a 12-year-old American Quarter Horse. The mare came from The Four Sixes ranch in Guthrie, Texas, and Dalton trained her to rope about three years ago. “She’s been awesome!” he says. Dalton fills every other moment primarily with ranch work, either helping his dad manage their 45 head of cattle, helping his grandparents, or working for a rancher outside of Faith, a job Dalton has held since seventh grade. A visit to see his uncle in northwest Montana will round out Dalton’s summer before he leaves for Ranger College in Ranger, Texas, this fall. He will be competing on the school’s rodeo team while earning his degree in business administration.
In addition to college, Dalton would like to improve his roping even more and receive a scholarship offer, while continuing to pursue bigger ropings and even the USTRC finals. The axis of his world is roping, confirmed as Dalton says, “If I had a totally free day, I would find somebody who would want to rope all day. That would be ideal for me.”
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