story by Lindsay Humphrey “Not a lot of people know that I have a step-dad,” said 17-year-old Savannah Wilson from Midland, Texas. “He came into […]
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Meet the Member Sterling Andrews
story by Lily Weinacht
At 8 years of age, Sterling Andrews already has five saddles, a horse trailer, and multiple buckles to his name. Titles aside, the cowboy from Llano, Texas, ropes, runs barrels and poles, and ties goats for the sheer fun of carrying on the family’s rodeo tradition. His 12-year-old sister, Samantha, and their dad, Wesley, inspired Sterling to rodeo, and he won his first title when he was 4, clinching the all-around at the Cleburne Youth Rodeo in the 6 and Under division. Since then, he’s won a number of titles in the TJRA, CTYRA, WTRA, and Region 3 Youth Rodeos. Most recently, he won the barrel racing at the 2018 San Antonio Youth Rodeo in the 8 and Under, and he finished the 2017 AJRA season as the reserve all-around champion in the 8 and Under.
“My favorite is probably the roping,” says Sterling. “I practice every day, and I usually work on my goats or my roping, and I ride two or three horses.” Sterling and Samantha practice together and share horses for roping and pole bending, joined in the practice pen by their parents, Amanda and Wesley, and even world champion roper Rich Skelton, who lives across the street. “Sterling has some great mentors around here with Rich Skelton, Tyler Magnus, and Tee Woolman,” says Wesley, who competes in World Series ropings and qualified for the 2017 WSTR Finale in Las Vegas. “Rich has helped him a bunch on his heading, and he’s got a natural head loop and has always headed steers really good.” Sterling is also inspired by his Paw Paw, Rick Andrews, who team ropes and qualified for the 2017 WSTR Finale as well.
This is the Andrews’ fifth year competing in the AJRA, which Samantha started competing in when she was 7, and Sterling joined in several years later. “The competition is always great, and there’s a lot of great cowboys and cowgirls that compete,” says Wesley. “Samantha has kind of paved the way for Sterling in the (AJRA) 8 and Under. She won the AJRA world championship on the same pole horse Sterling rides when she was that age. She helps him saddle and get ready, so that’s a big help.” The family loads up seven horses for rodeos, and Sterling is working with their 4-year-old gelding, Mohock, whom they raised and trained. “I’m working on turning him,” says Sterling. “My sister helped me train some of my horses. For barrels I ride Skeeter, poles I ride Cat Daddy, roping I use Matt, Jay, or Yeller, and for goats I use Cappie. We have goats, cows, dogs, and cats. I have a dog named Flash and I’m training him to blood track for hunting.”
Every morning, Sterling and Samantha are up by 5:30 or 6:00 to feed their horses before school. Sterling is finishing second grade at Llano Elementary where he enjoys math. His school puts on a talent show at the end of the school year, and Sterling is performing animal calls for the second year in a row. “There are 400 kids and they only pick 30 acts,” he explains. “I do a buck grunt, cow elk, turkey, coyote, pig, dying rabbit, and a smooch.” He also loves baseball, playing first baseman for the Llano Eliminators, and enjoys hunting and fishing with his family and friends.
The AJRA finals is his latest focus, and Sterling is solidly in the running, sitting second in the pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, and all-around. His ultimate goal is to compete in the WNFR and win more titles than Trevor Brazile.
Sterling also extends his thanks to his sponsors: Tres Rios Silver, Lyssy & Eckel Feed, Cactus Ropes, and Brazos Valley Equine.