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Meet the Member Chase Black
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Even though Chase Black goes to rodeos to bulldog, he often serves a different role: as rodeo queen bodyguard.
That’s because his younger sister, Cassidy Black, is the 2016 Miss Rodeo Utah.
Chase, who competes in the Rocky Mountain Pro Rodeo Association, often gets to see his sister when they happen to be at the same rodeo. And when they’re at the same rodeo, he loves it. “It’s good to watch her do her queen wave,” he said. “It’s fun to watch her interact with all the kids, and see their faces. She’s a good queen.”
The Coalville, Utah cowboy has loved rodeo since he was a youngster, watching his dad compete, and steer wrestling was the only event he’s ever wanted to do. His parents made him wait till he was a sophomore in high school, to begin bulldogging. “I just loved it, loved every minute of it. My parents always made sure I was mounted good, that I had good old boys to start on, and they helped me learn to do it right.”
Chase also competed in the team roping and tie-down roping during high school, and then in college rodeo for four years at Utah State University in Logan. He graduated with a degree in animal, dairy and veterinarian science with a minor in ag business.
After college, he continued to compete, in the PRCA as well as the RMPRA. This month, he’ll compete in his fourth RMPRA Finals, going into it in eighth place. He’ll also compete in the Wilderness Circuit Finals, heading into that rodeo in seventh place in the circuit. His dad hazes for him, which he loves. “He’s my number one hazer. I trust him. I know he’s always going to be there.”
He works for Western Ag Credit in Evanston, Wyo., about a forty mile commute from Coalville, and he loves his coworkers as well as his customers. “I get to work with great people, and I love to help the customers meet their goals.”
He rides an eleven year old bay named French Fry, who started his rodeo career as Cassidy’s barrel horse, then as a breakaway horse, then hazing horse. After Chase’s original horse came up lame, French Fry was called into duty. Chase only had to jump about twenty steers on him before French Fry figured out what it was all about, and they headed to last year’s RMPRA Finals.
French Fry got his unusual name from Chase’s cousin, who knew his name was Frenchie (he was sired by Frenchman’s Guy) but, as a toddler, couldn’t remember it. So she came up with the name to which she could relate: French Fry!
He, his sister Cassidy, and his mom and dad, Gena and Glen, are all close, and rodeo has helped them be that way. When he competed in high school rodeo, Cassidy, five years his junior, came along. In their living quarters in the horse trailer, he slept on the couch while Cassidy slept on the air mattress. Every time his parents stepped out of their beds, they either stepped towards the top of her air mattress or towards the bottom. “If mom or dad got up, it would bounce her head or her feet.”
The whole family, including Chase, will head to the Miss Rodeo America pageant in December, and Chase jokingly says carrying in his sister’s luggage to the hotel will be good strength conditioning for him. And, like the Black family has always done, they’ll be there to support each other, win or lose.