Meet the Member AJae Griffin
story by Michele Toberer Anna Jae Griffin goes by AJae, and the Mississippi native has been a cowgirl for a lifetime, and a Southeastern Professional […]
story by Michele Toberer
“If it’s got four feet and a heartbeat, let’s get him caught,” is the mindset that Randall Pringle, of Lowndesboro, Alabama, has when he sees cattle in the arena or out on the open range. Whether he is looking after his own herd, doing day work for local ranches, working at the Montgomery Stockyards, or entered at a Southern Pro Rodeo Association event, catching cattle is a big part of his day to day life.
Randall grew up in Lownesboro and is happy to be raising his own family there now, surrounded by lots of family, and friends of a lifetime. He and his wife, Cynthia, met while they attended rival high schools and have been married for 10 years. Cynthia drives a bus used for collecting and transporting blood donations. They are raising their 11-year-old son, Tuf in the same lifestyle Randall grew up in. Tuf competes in junior rodeos and loves to ride rough stock but has been picking up his rope a little more, starting to lean towards team roping like his dad.
Randall has found that when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. He lives just 12 minutes from the Montgomery Stockyards, where he has worked since he was in high school; and has spent most Mondays there since, filling every position that’s been needed along the way. He is usually horseback to run cattle thru the sale, works as an agent to buy cattle for others, and often drives truck for the sales barn as well. The days he’s not at the sales yard, he travels all over to help customers that need cattle caught. Although it started as a fun weekend job as a teenager with his friends, it is common for him to travel as far as Florida and Tennessee with his cattle dogs, to track down and catch rogue cattle for pay. It makes perfect sense that with all the riding Randall does at work, that he has a pasture full of horses to ride. Most days he is training young rope horses of his own or riding outside horses for customers.
Randall’s brother, Thomas Pringle Jr., is 16-years older than Randall, and brought him into the competitive sport of team roping. After high school, he helped him make the transition from roping cattle in the open, to roping steers out of the chute, and Randall found that he really enjoyed going to jackpots where he could make several runs with several partners. He went to mostly USTRC jackpots for a few years, and in 2014-2015 he started trying more rodeos. In 2016, Randall ended the season as the Reserve Champion Heeler in the Southeastern Rodeo Association. This is his rookie year in the SPRA, where he is heeling for Jesse Cook. Randall and Jesse have been roping together for quite some time, and although Randall used to head for Jesse, they have swapped ends. “Jesse has been rodeoing all his life, he grew up in the rodeo environment, and I grew up in the working environment with wild cows. We’re like 50 and 50 to make a 100-percent team.” One of Randall’s favorite pro-ropers is Kollin VonAhn, “He helped at a clinic I went to. He is really tremendous, my caliber of fellow, and he taught us a lot.”
Randall’s main heel horse is a 5-year-old Quarter Horse named Sparkplug. Randall purchased the flashy dun gelding as a yearling from the Bartlett Ranch. “He is laid back, but if you ask him for a bunch, he’ll give you way more than you asked for. He’ll just sit an idle like a car until you ask him for more, he’s a real cool little dude.”
The biggest difference Randall has found between roping cattle in competition and in the open, is time. “In the pasture you’re going to have a second shot most of the time, and you have all day to do it. I’m not usually called on the job that we don’t get the cattle caught. At the rodeo, you may have to beat a team that was a 4 the night before, so there’s pressure to catch fast, and if you miss, that’s it.”
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