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 Michael Shrable
story by Kyle Eustice
Thirty-year-old Michael Shrable was born and raised in Gepp, Arkansas, where he attended Viola High School. His parents, Danny and Ellen Shrable, who still live down the road from him, introduced him to rodeo as a child.
“I grew up with rodeo,” said Michael. “My dad has roped for many years, and my mom was a secretary at many rodeos and roping events as I was growing up. I was always with them, so I figured I might as well start.”
That casual decision led him to one of his greatest passions in life. In 1999, guided by only his drive to compete, he joined the USTRC and two years later, signed up for the ACA. His main event is team roping and he truly enjoys the community aspect of the event.
“I love to team rope because it’s really an event you can do with the whole family,” said Michael. “You can really get everyone involved.”
His wife Jordan also runs barrels when she’s not working or taking care of their two boys, Bryce, 9, and Wesley, 5. His father Danny, brother-in-law and several of his nephews rope, as well. The family component is really important to him.
“My biggest accomplishment is winning the regional finals with my dad,” said Michael. “It was great to see all the time and effort that we had put in finally pay off and it made it so much better winning it with him.”
While he doesn’t necessarily have a singular goal, he aims to be competitive in any situation he’s in and give himself a chance to succeed. Despite the fact traveling is the least favorite part of the sport, he knows drive and commitment is what it takes to be at the top of his game.
“You have to stay focused,” said Michael. “You have to strive to be better than you were before. I try to rope the dummy daily and get in the practice pen at least once a week, but with my boys’ basketball and baseball schedules, sometimes it doesn’t happen. It takes up a lot of my time and still love to get out there and play, too.”
Aside from his three dogs — Sam. Fluffy and Buzz — his horse Bay is his favorite animal. “I have spent a lot of time with him since I started training him when was a four years old and I’m still competing on him as he turns 13,” explained Michael. “Making a good run keeps me going.”