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Meet the Member Jade Taton
story by Lily Weinacht
Kiowa, Colorado, native Jade Taton is leading the saddle bronc riding in the CPRA. The 18-year-old won CPRA Saddle Bronc Rookie of the Year in 2016, but he also competes in bareback riding. “My dad, Kenny Taton, used to ride broncs, and my uncle Cody Taton went to the WNFR a few times, so I’ve been around it my whole life,” says Jade. “I decided I wanted to start rodeoing a couple years ago, so I started getting on some Cervi colts, and then I did high school rodeo my senior year.” While Jade took up rodeo later than some, he had little trouble finding his niche in the sport. “I had all the help I needed. Anytime something went wrong, I’d go to my dad for help. He came to all my high school rodeos and some CPRA rodeos, and he’ll be able to go to some with me this summer.
“I always want to be the best I possibly can be, make it to the finals (WNFR) and win a gold buckle,” Jade adds. “I really love being able to do this, so all that travel and extra work seem like such small things to get to that end point.” Jade recently finished his freshman year at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, where he competed on the rodeo team under coach Robert Etbauer. “I’ve been getting a lot of experience, and I’ll be rodeoing here for the next three years,” says Jade, who’s majoring in industrial technology. “This year I took care of general studies, and I had a leatherworking class, and next year I’ll get into the welding and metal shop.”
During school, Jade went home on weekends and was able to compete in several CPRA rodeos at the same time. “I really like the country around Kiowa – it’s real rough and fun to drive cows through,” Jade explains. He and his dad work for a rancher in Kiowa, and Jade also rides colts. “Sometimes I’ll buy and sell colts, but usually my uncle has friends that need something ridden, and I just get them started on the basics. I have one horse, Cash, that I bought from my aunt the year before last. He’s still young, but he’s a ranch horse, and I’ll hopefully be able to start team roping on him. This next year I’d like to start team roping at college rodeos and go from there.”
Jade plans to work and rodeo in the CPRA this summer, along with visiting his mom, Jennifer Taton, and his grandparents in eastern Oklahoma and South Dakota. “I’ll mostly do CPRA rodeos, but I’d like to get some other cards that co-sanction with CPRA and make their finals too,” he says. “I usually travel by myself, but a friend of mine from school, Rowdy Chesser, is working with us this summer and going to rodeos with me. I’m always over prepared for rodeos – I always have the biggest bag of everybody since I worry about things breaking,” he adds with a laugh.
“I want to thank my dad and everybody who’s helped me in rodeo. One of my big goals this year is to win a saddle and as many buckles as possible. I’ve never won a saddle before, and I’d like to win the CPRA year-end in the all-around, or bronc riding or bareback.”