Meet the Member Daniel Taylor
story by Ruth Nicolaus At the suggestion of a good friend, Daniel Taylor began his Colorado High School Rodeo Association career last fall. The Greeley, […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Elbert, Colo., natives Chase Atkinson and Clyde Bolejack, finished fifth in the nation in the team roping following the NHSFR, just a week after making it back to the short-go of the IFYR. It was Chase’s inaugural trip to Shawnee, Oklahoma. “We’ve been roping together since we were four or five, and it definitely gives us an advantage,” says Chase, the header, who also competes in tie-down and ribbon roping between the CSHSRA and CJRA. “My whole family has been rodeoing their entire lives, so it’s a tradition. Before I could walk, my parents would sit me on the dummy so I could rope it.”
Chase is joined in the arena by his parents, Dale and Julie Atkinson, both team ropers, as well as eight time world champion roper, Fred Whitfield. “He taught my dad how to rope calves, and he’s helped me too. We’re pretty close with him.” Team roping has been in the Atkinson family the longest, making it Chase’s favorite event, while he’s also helped his family put on ropings. “If I had to sell my house and live in my horse trailer so I could rodeo, I’d do it. It’s the thrill and being able to compete at the best of your abilities,” Chase explains. “I also enjoy hanging out with all of my rodeo friends. I’m one out of the two or three kids who rodeo in my school.”
An only child, Chase overrides the boredom by roping daily. “My dad helps me out, but I try not to ask very much because I learn better from figuring things out on my own,” he says. His head horse is a 12-year-old buckskin, Boo, who proved an easy keeper in the humid climate of Oklahoma. “He’s pretty laid back – he gets a flake of grass and alfalfa, and a half can of grain, and I just try to keep him cool and clean. Boo is my main horse, and he knew roping already because I stole him from my dad, plus I use my 21-year-old dun calf horse in the CJRA.” Chase team ropes with both his parents, heeling for his mom at local ropings, and entering WSTR ropings with his dad. “I roped with him at the Best of the Best in Gallup, New Mexico, and we won the first round and placed seventh in the second round. We came back high call with 13 on two and ended up third or fourth overall.”
When he’s not practicing, Chase rides horses and cleans pens for a lady ten miles up the road from him. He’ll be a junior this fall at Elbert High School. “I like science, because I get to blow things up,” he says. “I’ve done volcanoes, fire pits – fun things like that.” He also plays basketball for the Elbert Bulldogs.
Chase plans to continue rodeoing, and earn scholarships toward college. “I’d like to thank my sponsors – Mike Piland with Cactus Ropes, Cactus Gear, and Cactus Saddlery, our church, Save the Cowboy, and Atkinson Sales Team,” he finishes. “I want to get my name out there, and I want people to be scared when my trailer pulls in.”
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