story by Lindsay King If Andee Jo Haden has anything to be proud of, it’s the barrel horse she’s made out of her gelding Superman. […]
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Meet the Member Drew Clark
story by Lindsay King
Fourth-generation rodeo competitor Drew Clark from Colcord, Oklahoma, is an avid calf roper and saddle maker. “My wife Darbi and I live on a ranch, I’ve been horseback and roping all my life here. My great-grandfather Monroe Veach was a trick roper and trick rider while my grandfather and dad rode rough stock. My brother, Derek, made the NFR 15 times in the saddle bronc riding and my other brother, Doug, has made the steer roping finals and won the all-around at Cheyenne. Rodeo was just natural for me to pick up I would say.” Watching his older brothers achieve these feats of rodeo made Drew want to do the same. “Doug has taught me a lot about calf roping, he has always roped well. He ended up 16th in the world one year in the PRCA. He has taught me just about everything I know in roping.”
Drew first made the ACRA finals in 1992, with several appearances. “I have stayed pretty busy on the ranch over the years that I mostly stay around here for ACRA rodeos. I never did the PRCA full time like my brothers.” Drew is now competing against ropers whose fathers used to be his competition. “It is pretty neat to compete against this new generation of cowboys.” He travels to rodeos with his youngest son Drake, 21, while his other son Tyler, 26, is a football coach who lives in Marion, Arkansas, with his wife Catherine. The Clark family moved to the Colcord ranch when Drew was five, he has lived there the past 45 years. He helps his father take care of around 130 head of cattle and horses.
In 1919, Drew’s great grandfather started Veach Saddle Company, leading his daughter and son-in-law, Charley and Imogene Beals, to open a saddle shop and western store in Tulsa. “They retired in 1985 and moved to the ranch. My grandpa Charley built a shop here to work on saddles. It is still here and now I am working on saddles.” Drew learned the trade from his dad and now builds an average of four saddles every year. “I usually stay busy with repair work. There are times I have so many orders I can’t keep up or I don’t have any at all.” Some big name competitors have commissioned saddles from Drew, including: Jeff Chapman, Billy Good and his brother Doug.
An accomplished horseman, Drew has always trained his own calf horses. “I have a bad habit of selling them once they are really good and then I have to start all over with another horse. I had a horse in the early 90s that I sold to Brent Lewis and he ended up riding that horse at the NFR in 1997. It is hard to keep a good calf horse around here when I can get a good price for them.” This rodeo season Drew will ride a palomino owned by Drake. “It will be the first year this horse has gone anywhere, so he is pretty green. But I think he will end up being really nice.”
Each spring when the grass turns green again, Drew gets the itch to start rodeoing again. “Drake encourages me to continue to compete and enters me at all the rodeos. A lot of guys my age are no longer rodeoing. It keeps me in shape and keeps me moving, I enjoy seeing all the young guys rope.” His goal is to attend as many ACRA rodeos this year as he can. “I am excited to see how this young horse competes and what I can do against all these 20-somethings.”