story by Michele Toberer Nineteen-year-old BJ Billingsley has been a member of the Arkansas Cowboys Association for four years, competing as a tie-down roper. BJ […]
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Meet the Member John Mincey
story by Kyle Eustice
Born in Baton Rouge, La., 21-year-old John Mincey, Jr. moved to West Plains, Mo. when he was still a kid. Along with parents John Mincey, Sr. and Rhonda Mincey, and little sister Jaylee Mincey, 15, John Jr. has been involved in rodeo his whole life.
“It really is a family affair,” said John Jr. “My dad used to ride bulls and team rope.”
At the urging of his father, John Jr. got on a bull for the first time when he was 6-years-old. “My adrenaline was pumping so hard I didn’t have time to be scared,” said John.
His mother, on the other hand, is what John, Jr. refers to as a “typical rodeo mom.”
“She gets nervous whenever I go somewhere,” said John Jr. “She doesn’t watch too often, but when she does she’s scared to death I’ll get hurt.”
Thankfully, John Jr. hasn’t experienced any serious injuries, although there was one incident that his mother won’t soon forget.
“I had my head stepped on during practice once,” explained John Jr. “My dad went out there to get me, but pulled my helmet off by accident and when I landed on the ground, the bull stepped on my head. My mom wasn’t too happy about it. It was a big ruckus [laughs]. I was fine, but it looked bad because my face was cut up and swollen, but it was ok. It took five or six months for it go away.”
When John Jr. was 7-years-old, he joined the ACYRA, where he focused on riding calves, steers and eventually big bulls. Initially, the bigger bulls were intimidating, but through his faith, he learned to conquer his fear.
“In the Bible it says there is no fear in the perfect love of Jesus Christ,” said John Jr. “I’ve always believed God has my back. I try not to fear, but there’s always a little bit of fear, although it doesn’t scare me. It keeps me on my toes.”
John Jr. joined the ACA in 2012 and quickly met Hall Rodeo Company founder Cline Hall, one of his biggest inspirations.
“The first time I met Cline, I had a bull with the biggest horns in the pen,” recalled John Jr. “ I was so nervous. I met him and he told me it would be alright. It was so fun. Cline has made the ACA experience awesome for me. I’ve been to all of his rodeos through the years. He puts on a really great show. I couldn’t think of a better guy. He helped me get started.”
John Jr. won the ACA finals in 2012 and was also reserve champion of the year. This year, he’s producing rodeos for the ACA and is thrilled that he gets to be the boss.
“You get to holler at everybody and nobody gets to holler at you,” joked John Jr. “I take care of the sponsor money, get the arena together, book the dates, handle advertising, book contestants, and make sure things go smooth.”
John Jr woks with a crew of 12, which he says has become “like family.” Although he started college classes after graduating from West Plains High School, he’s decided to pursue rodeo full time and make his living that way. So far, he’s off to an excellent start.
“I bought my PRCA card in 2013 and I’ve done pretty well,” said John Jr. “I have my PBR card now and I’ve been to big events. I’m living the American cowboy dream.”
With some of his winnings, he’s bought several bulls and set up a rodeo pen at his house, which he shares with his wife of two months, Kinsey. He practices every day and is intent on teaching the next generation.
“It’s all about helping the next generation,” said John Jr. “Any time young kids want to get on to ride, we have bulls for them. It’s good, clean fun.”
For now, John Jr. is focused on his rodeo production company, Broke N Unknown Rodeo Company, which he established in 2016, making it to the NFR Finals and building his family.
“I want to have about 15 little kids running around every where,” jokes John Jr. “My wife wants one or two, but I want to have a whole rodeo team.”