Story by Ruth Nicolaus Because of his parents, Scott and Jenee Holub, and his granddad, George Rachau, Dillin Holub is involved in the sport he […]
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Meet the Member C.E. Taft
story by Lily Weinacht
C.E. Taft, a team roper and steer wrestler in the APRA, is also the co-owner of Buckeye Rodeo Company based in Lakeville, Ohio. His parents, Butch and Hazel Taft, the founders of the rodeo company, both rodeoed through college. Butch was an all-around cowboy, while Hazel ran barrels and tied goats. After moving from their home in Florida to Ohio, Butch started the rodeo company in the late 1980s when C.E. was in Kindergarten. From that time on, C.E. and his sister, Jane, were stock contractor’s kids.
“We helped dad with raising the bucking horses and bulls, and when I was in high school, I made our bucking horses an FFA project and won the Horse Proficiency Award for Ohio,” says C.E., now 41. He went on to rodeo for University of Tennessee at Martin, and competed in tie-down roping as well as steer wrestling and team roping as a heeler. After studying at The Academy of Equine Dentistry in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, C.E. started his own equine dentistry business and continued to help his dad with stock contracting.
“I really looked up to my dad in the stock contracting. He passed away six years ago, but we worked together a long time. In the steer wrestling, Steve Obedeer really helped me out when I was younger. I rodeoed for Ohio and went to the National High School Finals three times.” C.E. continues to rodeo, primarily steer wrestling, and filling in whenever a header needs a partner. He’s qualified for the APRA and MSRA finals several times, and rides a horse of Bump Postlethwait’s, who also hazes for him. “When I’m competing at the rodeos I contract, I don’t always think I can focus as much attention on steer wrestling as I need to, but it’s also good, because I don’t have as much time to think about it. I just go out and do well,” C.E. says with a laugh.
Buckeye Rodeo Company puts on 10 – 12 rodeos a year between the APRA and MSRA, also providing the bulldogging steers for their finals rodeos the last five years. Buckeye’s horse Dirty Hairy won APRA Bareback Horse of the Year in 2015, and they have won multiple horse, bull, and stock contractor of the year titles in the MSRA. “I like putting on a quality rodeo for the contestants and watching our stock buck. We raise 90% of our bulls and bucking horses, and we have a quality pen of timed event cattle for all three events. I want people to know that if they do a good job, they have a chance to win money.” C.E.’s sister and brother-in-law, Jane and Craig Houin, help with everything from driving to secretary work, while C.E.’s fiancée, Melanie, and her son are also becoming part of the rodeo team.
“Any time I can, I go hang out with friends, and I’m also helping Melanie with her online clothing store, Lariats and Lace Boutique. She sells western fashion clothes, and we design some of our own t-shirts,” says C.E. “Competition wise, I always enjoy making the APRA and Mid States finals, and in the contracting business, I always want to have some of the best bucking stock and be considered one of the better contractors. I hope people appreciate the rodeos we put on for them, and we appreciate all their votes for contractor of the year.”