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Meet the Member Jerry Cassey
story by Kyle Eustice
Fifty-two-year-old Jerry Cassey was born in Dallas, Texas, but currently lives in Cashion, Oklahoma. As a retired member of the Army, he’s been all over the world, which was one of the biggest perks of being in the military, however, it also kept him from going as far as he would have liked to in his rodeo career.
“I’ve rodeoed all my life,” said Jerry. “I joined army at 18, and served 30 years. When I was home on leave for 90 to 120 days, I would fight bulls for Wendel Ratchford and Dale Lyons. I never could go pro, even though I won a couple bull fights. I never could get a pro card because I never knew when I would be deployed.”
While that may be frustrating for some people, Jerry has no regrets. He is still heavily involved in the rodeo community. As a member of the IPRA, PAFRA and ACRA, his role is the barrel man or, as he calls it, the “funny man.” He also raises bulls and moderates cattle on a ranch in Wynnewood, Oklahoma owned by his closet friend, Wendel Ratchford of the Wildhorse Rodeo Company.
“Every now and then, I fight bulls,” said Jerry. “I have my own bulls that go buck, too. I have a couple bulls that buck in the PCRA and PBR.”
Although he says at his age, it’s not the norm to apply for a pro-card, he did it anyway. His goal is to be a barrel man in the PCRA.
“Hopefully, I will make it,” said Jerry. “Some people kind of look at you and wonder where you’ve been at my age, but that doesn’t bother me.”
As a barrel man, judges will base their decision on his presence in the arena, ability to entertain, crowd interactions, and how well he works with the rodeo contestants. In both the PBR and PCRA, they want the barrel man to be as flashy and entertaining as possible, something he’s apparently mastered.
“I don’t get nervous,” said Jerry. “I just get a big adrenaline rush. Every event is different. Nothing is rehearsed and you really have to learn how to be spontaneous.”
In the meantime, he’s staying busy putting on rodeos of his own in Guthrie, Oklahoma through his Military Veterans Rodeo Productions company. All the money he makes, he donates to veterans.
“The last veteran we donated to a 82 WWII Veteran who needed a generator to keep his oxygen machine going in case the power went out,” said Jerry. “We also help rebuild their houses or whatever else they made need.”
Jerry also owns a t-shirt company called Crossthread Design and Promotion, which is veteran owned. They make t-shirts, banners, hats, and other things of that nature. His intense faith in God is a factor in everything he does.
“Faith helps,” explained Jerry. “You have to have faith in anything you do—business, life, or sports. You have to make that your ground foundation. I love my family, too, but my ground foundation is my lord.”
Jerry married a woman named Neicha Casey several years ago and between the two, they have five sons—Jamie, Chris, Josh from Neicha’s previous relationship—and Chris and Josh, who came with Jerry. He also has seven grandchildren and two of his grandsons go to all of his rodeo events with him.
While Jerry waits for his letter from the PCRA to see whether or not he’s approved to be a barrel man in the pros, he’s already grateful for everything he’s been able to do in the rodeo world, which he likens to the military.
“It’s like rodeo,” explained Jerry. “It’s a brotherhood. No matter who you meet, everybody is family. Everyone takes care of each other.”