Meet the Member Isaiah Chavez
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story by Kyle Eustice
Sixteen-year-old Adriano Duran lives in La Jara, New Mexico and attends high school at Coronado High in Gallina, New Mexico, just a few miles up the road. Thanks to the support of his expansive family, he’s been able to pursue his passion for rodeo. His parents Nathan and Danette Duran, brother Andres, younger sister Reynae and grandparents Tony and Eileen Duran are consistently in his corner.
“My father is my biggest supporter and best friend,” said Adriano. “My mother is always behind me in everything I do. My brother supports me at every rodeo and my little sister is my cheerleader. My grandparents also make every rodeo and support me win or lose.”
As a member of the NMHSRA, Adriano got his start in junior rodeo when he was in 8th grade. With the guidance of Andres, who rodeoed in his senior year of high school, he was drawn to the sport. He soon partnered with Cassidy Evans for the team roping event.
“We finished third when qualifying for the national finals in Des Moines, Iowa,” said Adriano. “I also entered the chute dogging. My uncle Anthony, now my coach, steer wrestled in high school and college. With his encouragement, I started chute dogging. I proudly finished second in the state and also qualified for nationals.”
Adriano and Casey then participated in the finals, and being from a small town, they weren’t exactly sure what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised with the results.
“I was proud to represent my home town and school at the finals,” said Adriano. “What an experience! Although I didn’t have much luck in the dogging, Cassidy and I sealed the deal in the team roping, and finished seventh overall.”
By the end of junior high, Adriano was eager to move up to the high school level his freshman year to team rope. He’s finally team roping this year and tried his hand at steer wrestling, as well.
“I practiced the ground work over and over and was told I was ready to jump,” explained Adriano. “I’ll admit it was hard to convince myself to jump off my horse at a full run onto a steer’s back. With several words of encouragements, I did it. After the first one, I was hooked. So far I’m having a good year. I hope to finish strong and qualify for nationals. My horse Rebel is what makes my job easier. He puts me there every run. I really believe he looks after me while I’m getting down.”
Along with Rebel, he also has a heel horse named Aspen, a smaller mare. He’s trained her on his own and she’s helped him place at the junior nationals. Above all, his faith keeps him grounded.
“After every rodeo, I thank God for my accomplishments win or lose,” said Adriano. “As long as my horse or I don’t get hurt, we’re able to go back to the practice pen and work on what may have gone wrong.”
Adriano tries to practice as much as he can in both team roping and steer wrestling. On average, he practices four to five days a week, but with the responsibilities of living on a ranch, he has to plan his day carefully. In the meantime, he’s focused on making the national team in both events and eventually earn a college scholarship to rodeo at the college level.
“I believe rodeo has many benefits in life,” said Adriano. “If you surround yourself around good people, there is a lot of good you can take with you.”
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