Meet the Member Laura Lambert
story by Lindsay Humphrey By definition, Laura Lambert was born into rodeo. Both her parents competed professionally; her dad, Dale Motley, primarily in calf roping […]
story by Lindsay King
More than 100,000 acres spread across Wyoming and parts of Montana make up the Stoddard Ranch run by Bob Stoddard from Newcastle, Wyoming. “We have an extensive operation with five different ranches. I spent all my life wanting a ranch and now I have one.” Born into the family business, Bob learned about ranching and roping on the job alongside his siblings. “My brother, Wilbur, and I started team roping in the mid 60s, we got to where we were competitive and filled our permits in the PRCA. I always liked to be the header and he was good at the heeling so it worked out for us.” The ranch always came first, meaning Bob and Wilbur could not go rope nearly as much as they would have liked to. While learning how to rope, Bob and Wilbur read all the books they could get their hands on, but also watched the Camarillos a lot. “We started out by roping a bucket and then progressed from there until we were competitive at jackpots.”
A member of the NSPRA since the beginning, Bob anxiously waited for Wilbur to be old enough to rope with him in it. “He was killed in a truck accident in 2004 so I have had to rope with a lot of other people since then. He was a great heeler and we roped a lot before the NSPRA even started.”
Bob studied for two years at Casper Junior College starting in 1957 and for one full year at the University of Wyoming before being drafted by the Army in 1961 where he served two years. “I went to Norfolk, Virginia, and worked my way up to Private First Class. They had me on the landing craft receivers out in the ocean. I played on the volleyball and football teams my second year.” Discharged in 1963, Bob returned to Wyoming to ranch full time and has done so ever since.
“When I got home Gail and I started accumulating more ranches, adding a little land whenever we thought we could afford it. We put it together for my three grandchildren.” Now more than 4,000 Angus steers, heifers and cows roam the Stoddard land. “Our family has always believed in buying the best bulls we could afford and keeping the best heifers from our herds. We have a closed operation, we have not bought cattle outside of bulls in many years, everything we have we raised.”
In 1993, Bob and Gail, his wife, started producing a NSPRA rodeo in Douglas, Wyoming. “I am a little biased, but it was one of the best rodeos in the whole association. We got a lot of sponsors because we did business with most of them. I cannot tell you how many times it was the rodeo of the year in the NSPRA, we enjoyed putting it on and the competition. We did that until about 2010.” Bob has served the NSPRA as vice president for the past 20 years, three of those as the president, to help the association prosper. “I wanted to see it get more members. I went to the first two finals in Las Vegas but had to skip a few years when it was in Amarillo. Once it moved back to Reno in 1988 I never missed one, except the year I broke my legs falling off the ranch windmill.”
Bob is an eight-time world champion team roper in the NSPRA and also holds the 2013 breakaway roping world title. “There have been a lot of changes in the NSPRA over the years but we try to make them so they help our members. The average age of our members is getting older but it is just like a family.” The greatest aspect of this family for Bob is the long line of outstanding secretaries. “We have great people in this association in all positions but the secretaries make the biggest difference. That is what makes it so enjoyable, working with incredible people who like what they do and are good at it.”
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