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 Steve Reed
story by Kyle Eustice
Fifty-one-year-old Arkansas native Steve Reed graduated from West Memphis High School and moved to Jones, Arkansas in 1996, but eventually settled in Oscelola. As a kid, he grew up watching his father Vernie work tirelessly as a fairier and the constant exposure to horses quickly led him to rodeo, something he’s loved doing since he was a little kid.
“My dad always had horses and worked cows, so I’ve always rode and roped,” said Steve. “I’ve always team roped.”
His mother Myra, sister Reedonna, and two brothers, Blake and Kelly, supported his endeavors and before he knew it, he was a member of the USTRC, ARA and eventually the ACA. “I joined the ACA two years ago when I turned 50,” explained Steve.”They had a 50 and over team roping category, so I signed up.”
Steve was initially drawn to rodeo because of his competitive nature and desire to win. “The money is always nice,” joked Steve. In 2001, Steve won the USTRC championship in Memphis, Tennessee, one of his biggest accomplishments.
“It felt great,” said Steve. “It gets in your blood. I was up against about 250 teams. We were there about five or six hours, but I loved every minute of it.”
Steve began roping with his partner, Steve Hinson, over 20 years ago while in the USTRC. Although Steve didn’t win the year end championship this year (he took third place), his partner did, which only fueled his fire to win this year. For now, he’s enjoying watching his 24-year-old son Cody Reed fall in love with the sport.
“Things are a lot slower pace for me now,” explained Steve. “It’s not a matter of time now when I team rope. It’s a matter of getting them caught. I had a total hip replacement two years ago, so I am just coming back from that. It made me want to rope more than I ever had. I figure I better enjoy it while I can because you never know how long you’ll be able to do it.”
Steve’s wife of 26 years, Amy Reed, supports him 100 percent and together, they’ve watched their only son blossom into the impressive rodeo contestant he is today. “Cody started competing when he was 10 and he’s won quite a few events,” said Steve. “He does pro-rodeos with the PRCA and goes to ACA rodeos in the summer with me. I am very proud of him. Time goes by so fast and he grew up right in front of my eyes. Rodeo is a good family to be around. We’re together all the time.”
In the future, Steve wants to make the finals again and get another shot at the championship. Until then, he’s focused on his faith and takes great pride in his cowboy church, Three Trees, where the congregation just built a covered arena for cowboys to use.
“I got baptized three years ago,” said Steve. “My wife, son and I all got baptized the same day. Faith is everything to me.”