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Meet the Member Sterlin English
story by Kyle Eustice
Based in Belen, New Mexico, 14-year-old Sterlin English has always looked up to his father John. Since he was a young kid, Sterlin has watched his father rope steers and work as an event coordinator for the World Series of Team Roping. Simply put, rodeo is in his blood. Having a father that clearly supports his passion for rodeo has made his path much easier. “I rope with him all the time,” said John. “He’s quite the accomplished trick roper. He picks it up from one person to the next, and starts putting them together.”
Aside from his trick roping, the 8th grade student has excelled at team roping. He joined the NMJRHS in 2014 and was gone so much, he had no choice but to get homeschooled.
“I was gone a lot doing rodeos,” admitted Sterlin. “I was gone every Friday and for a couple weeks for the USTRC Finals and World Series Finals, so they didn’t really like that [laughs].”
His hard work and dedication has paid off. Last year, Sterlin and John made it to the US Finals in Oklahoma City and actually won the team roping event. In addition to buckles and saddles, they were awarded $115,000. To celebrate, they went out to dinner with some friends and Sterlin picked up the tab.
“It was quite a day,” said John. “I told Sterlin I could have hung up my rope after that one, but he wouldn’t let me [laughs]. There was not a better feeling then when you win with your kid.”
“It was awesome to win with my dad,” adds Sterlin. “I’ve wanted to do it since I was 6.”
While Sterlin started riding horses when he was 4 or 5, he tried several sports before he decided to put all of his energy into roping. He tried baseball, basketball, and almost everything in between, but all he wants to do is rope now.
“I used to play baseball a lot, but I was rodeoing at the same time,” explained Sterlin. “It was all conflicting, so I decided to just rodeo because I like it better. It’s a passion. One day, I’d like to work in the roping world like my dad. I want to pro-rodeo as soon as I turn 18 and try to make the finals. It would be nice to work for a roping company in the future.”
John and Sterlin practice every day for a couple hours a day in their own arena. They believe it takes certain characteristics to be a successful rodeo contestant.
“I think the willingness to work at it hard and staying focused are two crucial elements,” said John.
“You have to have drive to go out and practice,” added Sterlin. “You can’t just go through the motions and not really care. You have to have heart.”
Currently, his favorite horses are Hollywood and Rodeo. He won the US Finals on Hollywood, so he’s very special to the young roper, who is intent on taking his career all the way.
“I’d like to make the NFR and win the world,” said Sterlin. “I just have to keep practicing, work hard, and ride good horses.”