story by Lindsay Whelchel Before there was the sport of rodeo, there were cowboys getting on wild horses. Saddle bronc riding was derived from necessity […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Clint Nelson
story by Siri Stevens
Clint Nelson won the All Around at the 2016 NRCA Finals, competing in steer wrestling, and bareback riding. “Years past I rode saddle broncs and bulls, and wasn’t having too much luck so I tried out bareback riding and have stuck with that,” said the 24-year-old from Philip, South Dakota. His favorite is steer wrestling. “It’s always clicked with me, I have an amazing horse that I trained and I ride with Allen Good, it’s been a Godsend to practice with them. I’ve been throwing steers since I was 11, and that’s how I got started.”
He has always had a goal of winning the All Around at a year-end Finals, and this was his first one. “I won a few in high school and a few different rodeos. This is my first one competing with the big boys.” Since the ruling with the NRCA All Around is competing in both ends of the arena, it makes it even more special to Clint. “I didn’t have the best Finals; I lost the bull dogging saddle, but winning the All Around made my weekend.” He has been a member of the NRCA for 8 years. “I love it – it’s a great association. Everyone is friendly and it’s a cowboy association. They do a great job.”
Clint started competing when he was 14, but has been team roping since he could handle a rope. “My dad (Mike), sister (Brooke) both compete my Mom (Kathy), and sister (Lindsay) cheer us on. Brooke hazes for me at the amateur rodeos and is my mixed team roping partner and she also competes in breakaway.” Along with Mike who is my team roping partner, competes in Senior mens breakaway, and hazes for me as well.
He just turned 24 and he ranches with his father in Phillip, South Dakota. “I started out ranching at 15 with my first beef cows. Here lately I have been raising some Corrientes to keep around to rope.” He was born in Kansas, but has been raised on the same ranch as his dad and granddad here in South Dakota, his great grandpa’s ranch, making him the fourth generation still at the same place. “I live about five miles from my parents; I drive over every morning and help dad with the chores, in the fall, I preg check cattle.” He also rides bulldogging horses through the winter and helps feed cows and calves.
One of his goals for the future is to make The AMERICAN. “I qualified to go to the semi finals and I’ve been bulldogging good and hoping to make The AMERICAN finals.” He qualified and heads to Ft. Worth the second week of February for the semi-Finals. He has two spots. He also wants to make the Circuit Finals in the PRCA. Things got a set back for Clint a year ago. “The first week of college practice, I blew a knee out and it has taken a long time to get back. I couldn’t rodeo on one leg very well, so that ended the season for me.” He came back home to ranch and decided there was too much work to do to leave again. “It takes two people to keep everything afloat at home.”
He’s wanted to rodeo ever since he was little. “I played football and wrestled in high school, but it seemed like rodeo was more fun – it’s one big family and everyone helps each other. That’s where I wanted to be. I help kids at the bulldogging schools Allen puts on, mounting them on my horse and I just love it.” He is also grateful to the Goods for letting him come down and practice with them.
He thanks his family for standing behind him. “I’ve got a bunch of friends in rough stock and I’m back behind the chutes helping. “Since I’m 6’5”, I’m not cut out to be a roughstock guy but that doesn’t stop the want in me to be one.” “On some level or aspect in rodeo I hope to keep doing it forever.”