Meet the Member Caden Stoddard
story by Lillian Landreth Caden Stoddard has been in the saddle since he was old enough to hold the reins, and many of his earliest […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Trevor Olson is a tie-down and team roper in the SDHSRA, with not only a qualification to the NHSFR on his mind this season, but filling his PRCA permit to boot. The 18 year old from Mud Butte, South Dakota, comes from a strong roping background. His parents, Tony and Billy Olson, both rodeoed. His dad tie-down roped on the Badlands Circuit for many years, while Trevor describes himself as religious about roping the horns every day. “We go to jackpots, and I rope the horns 200 times a day,” he says of the downtime between rodeo seasons. He won second in the tie-down roping at the 2017 SDHSRA Fall Extravaganza, and Trevor heads for Jace Engesser in the team roping. They’ve been partners since junior high, and they also enter in SDRA and NRCA rodeos. “I like it because rodeo is all on you. There’s no one else you can blame, and your success is all on you.
“My dad’s inspired me quite a bit. He got in a bad wreck in ’91 or ’92 and was able to bounce back from that and still be able to rope calves really good. Dad still ties with me and my brother from the post, and he heads now.
I’ve never met Clay Smith before, but he’s someone I definitely look up to. I think he’s on top of everything, and he ropes so good and his horses are so good. Hopefully I get to beat him someday!” Trevor is also encouraged by his older brother, Tyus, who is a tie-down roper on the Eastern Wyoming College rodeo team finishing his junior year. He pro rodeos, and the brothers rope together as often as possible. Their younger brother, Colby, 11, plays basketball.
Trevor rides four horses, the oldest a 20-year-old gelding named Flax that he leases. “Flax is really short, but if you get a good start, he goes all the time and is super easy. I ride a horse of my brother’s called Badger. He’s kind of a bronc, and he’s outstanding — he scores great and runs hard and does everything you ask him. Tom is 15 or 16 and we got him from Jake Nelson. He scores really good and faces good, and my black horse, Cactus, is 10. I got him my sophomore year when I needed another horse, but he was so broncy at first that I couldn’t do anything with him. But I started riding him and he’s my good head horse now — he’s got a lot going for him.”
Trevor plans to haul Cactus to pro rodeos this spring when he and Jace Engesser start on their permits, but Trevor is also focused on finishing high school. A senior at Newell High School, he prefers his carpentry class, where they recently built a calving shed, and he also played football and basketball several years before focusing solely on rodeo. “When I get home from school, I go to the barn and feed the colts we’ve picked up here and there, and I rope the horns until 6 o’clock. I love hunting coyotes,” Trevor adds. “You can sell their furs, and this year they’re about 50 dollars apiece.” With an entirely free day at his fingertips, however, Trevor says he’d spend it doctoring yearlings and roping, followed by listening to his friend Clade Schuelke play lead guitar for Kenny Feidler and The Cowboy Killers band.
While Trevor made it to the short round the last three years at state finals, he just missed qualifying for Nationals, and plans to change that this year. “I like state. I’m kind of a gamer, and I definitely rise to the occasion of high-pressure situations. My biggest goal with school right now is to graduate, and like everyone else, I’d sure like to make the NFR someday. I’m playing it by ear and taking the opportunities I’m given.”
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