Meet the Member: Kali Carpenter
Story by Ruth Nicolaus The Mid States East Rodeo Association member lived in Texas for five years before moving back to her parents’ farm in […]
story by Michele Toberer
Rodeo is a family affair for Michigan cowgirl, Tammy Floer, “For me it is just something fun to go and do with the family. I’m one of those that has a job just to support my rodeo hobby, it’s always good to place and get money, but it’s really just a fun thing for me to do with my family.”
Tammy was born and raised with twin brothers, Tim and Tom, and parents Larry and Linda Wilson, near her home in Brooklyn, Michigan, and rodeo has been a part of her life from the start. Larry worked for the 3 Bar J rodeo company, so going to rodeos was a regular event for Tammy. She started competing in barrel racing at the age of three and has continued to run barrels since; as well as adding team roping to her list several years ago. Tammy’s twin brothers used to ride bulls at the rodeos.
Tammy graduated from Onsted High School, in Onsted, Michigan, where she first met her husband, Tom. After dating off and on over the years, they tied the knot in 1996, and have raised two daughters, Nicole Floer 21, and Ashley Thompson, 28 in a similar western way of life. Nicole still lives at home and competes as a barrel racer at many of the MSRA rodeos her parents attend, as well as at IPRA rodeos. Ashley, married to Jason Thompson, shows barrel horses at futurity barrel races, along their 3-year-old daughter, Paisley, who competes in the pee wee division barrel races. “Paisley is very independent and not afraid of anything, she thinks she can ride them all!” Ashley also has a 15-year-old stepson, Hayden Thompson. Tom is a team roper that ropes both ends but is currently heeling for Tammy at the rodeos. The family has typically put on team ropings and barrel races at their home arena, offering series in the summers, but they are keeping their schedule more open, so they can enjoy a little free time.
Because Tammy has always been around roping and rodeo, she picked up her knack for roping rather naturally and is somewhat self-taught with help from her husband. Tammy is currently between rodeo horses because she recently sold her main barrel horse and retired her main head horse. “I still rope some steers at home on my 22-year-old, Dunny, but he just got to where he didn’t like to haul anymore, so we keep him home.” Right now, she is roping on her husband’s 10-year-old grey horse that they call Blue. “I’m still figuring Blue out, I was so used to riding Dunny, but we’re getting there.” Roping is mainly a fun past-time for Tammy and she doesn’t get too stressed about it, “Roping has got to be fun for me, I may get down on myself if I make a mistake running barrels, but I’m pretty laid back about roping.” Until Tammy finds her next barrel horse, she is riding a little 12-year-old dun mare named Dually. She actually bought her as a finished head and heel horse, but Tammy taught her the barrel pattern. “She’s not the fastest thing, but she’s pretty consistent and fun to ride. Not much really bothers her, she’s pretty laid back, other than the loud music at the rodeos, that will get her going.”
Tom works for Dunigan Brothers, in underground construction installing water and sewer mains. Tammy works for her in-laws as a manager of their western store, J & J Western Store. For 23 years, she has worked there at the Brooklyn store, selling western apparel and tack as well as motorcycle apparel.
At home, they have about 6 horses to care for and ride, and they usually keep roping steers through the summers. They also have 6 dogs that are constant companions. There are three mini Australian Shepherds, Rose, Rita and Chicken; two Chihuahuas, Riley and Quinn, and a French Bulldog named Agota. The pet that rules over the entire crew is Buddy, a 5-year-old Bengal cat. “He’s pretty much in charge of them all, and he listens better than the dogs!”
Tammy enjoys what she calls her “simple life” and the fact that rodeo has kept her family close.
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