story by Lindsay Humphrey “I’m not much of a planner,” said Ryan Bestol of his storied rodeo career so far. “When I get something in […]
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Meet the Member Amanda From
story by Lily Weinacht
“Almost every member of my family has rodeoed. I don’t even remember how old I was when I first entered, but I know there was a Shetland pony and an egg race involved!” says Amanda From, better known as Mandy, from Gothenburg, Neb. The roper and barrel racer is carrying on a family tradition at least three generations old, playing a part in the lifestyle from the arena to behind the chutes, and even in the announcer’s stand.
Mandy, 39, picked up the reins at an early age, junior rodeoing and high school rodeoing, and later helping her dad, Dave From, run roughstock and produce rodeos. Her younger brother, Tagg From, worked as a pickup man. “In high school, I really enjoyed barrels and poles, but after that, roping became my thing,” she says. “I gave rodeo up after high school and college, and there was a long lag where I didn’t go. I missed it so bad, and I didn’t realize once I started up again how hard it would be to be one of the tough competitors again. It’s been a long time since my name has been in the standings, and I really hope this is our year!”
An NSRA member for nearly five years, Mandy finds inspiration amongst numerous people in her life. “In the barrel racing, I’ve always looked up to Charmayne James and considered her the first lady of barrel racing. Today, I look up to Lisa Lockhart and Trula Churchill, and Lari Dee Guy is my roping inspiration. I also look up to my dad, and my brother, who’s the best and handiest cowboy I know. I have a lot of people to look up to – they’re everywhere I go!”
Along with breakaway roping and barrel racing, Mandy enters the mixed team roping on occasion as a header. “Breakaway is my favorite – I love that it’s a skill for me and my horses, and it’s a challenge to be faster and faster all the time. You can’t ever be sleeping. My breakaway horse is a 13-year-old mare, Dale. She came from April Harms, and she’s the nicest horse I’ve ever ridden. My old heading horse, Bud, came out of my dad’s bronc string, and he’s bucked me off harder than any other horse, but I still love him, and he’s a good old boy. Rolex is my up-and-coming barrel and heading horse from Oklahoma, and I have high hopes for him.” She also scarcely leaves her driveway without her two dogs, Gracie and Lola, in the cab.
Living in town, Mandy keeps her horses legged up doing day work on ranches and practicing at friends’ arenas. “I haven’t been to a practice pen this year, which really speaks for my mare and how well she’s doing,” she says. “I did processing and calving this spring for Star Cattle Company in Hershey, and I’m also a lead singer and acoustic guitar player in a band, Crazy Alice. Music is another big thing in my family. The band plays red dirt country with a little bit of rock and roll. For the last ten years we’ve stayed pretty close to home since nearly everyone has families and full time jobs, but we’re a tight family and we travel well together.”
Mandy hasn’t far to travel to see family, announcing several of the Nebraska junior high and high school rodeos that her nieces compete in. She stepped in to fill an empty announcer’s stand several years ago and continued announcing part time. “It’s fun to watch the kids and spend a day outside,” she says. “I also like to cook for my friends. I used to own a little bakery, and I very much enjoy it.
“For my rodeo goals, I’ve made up my mind that I’m going to make the NSRA finals. I generally don’t go enough to qualify, but I’m really well mounted and there’s just no excuses!”