Meet the Member Isaiah Chavez
story by Julie Carter His personal hero is Trevor Brazile so there’s not much doubt in what Isaiah Chaves believes he can accomplish: “Whatever I […]
story by Kyle Eustice
Born in Longmont, Colorado, but currently living in Mountainair, New Mexico, 16-year-old Stran Thompson has always been involved in rodeo. His parents, Shane and Shannon Thompson, both have a lengthy history in the sport (Shannon used to rope and run barrels and Shane still team ropes). When Stran was 8, he asked them if he could start doing it, too, and they happily obliged.
“My whole family has always been around it,” said Stran. “My grandpa still ropes steers, too.”
The Dora Cyber High School student has been a member of MGR, NMJRA, NMJHRA, NMRA, and is now a part of the NMHSRA, which he joined as a freshman. He participates in calf roping, team roping and boys cutting. Thankfully, he has an incredible horse along for the ride.
“My favorite event is the calf roping,” said Stran. “My calf horse Trigger has won the AQHA horse of the two years in the junior high association and once in the high school association. He also ended up second place for horse of the year at the 2014 junior high finals in Des Moines, Iowa.”
While he strives to improve every year, Stran is off to a prodigious start with his high school career. Until his sophomore year, his biggest accomplishment was winning fourth place in ribbon roping at the 2014 junior high finals with his partner Jorie Harwell, but high school junior has already topped that.
“I was the 2016 NMHSRA All Around Champion my sophomore year,” said Stran. “It was amazing. I had set goals to achieve that. By working hard and practicing every day, it paid off.”
In the future, Stran plans on attending Eastern New Mexico College, rodeoing and begin his ascent into the pro-rodeoing world after he graduates. He normally practices every day when he doesn’t have homework to do.
“We try to rope calves one day and steers the next day,” explained Stran. “I exercise my cutting horse everyday and try to keep him tuned up I rope the dummies everyday. I would like to thank my sponsors Oxy Wound Wash and Cowboy Cordage, as well as my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I would also like to give a huge thank you to Russell Sullivan, Jerrad Hofsetetter and Taos Muncy. They have always pushed me to do my best and I wouldn’t be where I’m at without their help.”
On his off time, Stran loves to hunt and work on his truck. Considering New Mexico is such an incredible backdrop to shoot films and television shows, he’s also done a little acting, including a few episodes of Longmire and a stint as a stunt man in the movie 2 Guns. However, rodeo is where his heart truly lies.
“To be a great rodeo contestant, you need to have a good work ethic, work hard and practice,” said Stran. “It takes time, but if you put everything you’ve got into it, it will definitely pay off.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.