story by Ruth Nicolaus Shylene Drumm is a five-time Colorado Junior High School Rodeo champion. This year, she won the pole bending, breakaway roping, goat […]
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Meet the Member Tristan Smith
story by Rachel Hummel
“Rodeo wasn’t necessarily something that ran in my family, but it has always been something that I wanted to do. One of our family friends actually showed me some events and I was really drawn to the chute dogging. I started practicing pretty often and eventually started to rodeo on a regular basis,” says 13 year old Tristan Smith from Erie, Colo.
Tristan has been a member of the Junior High Association for two years and he competes in the chute dogging. He has plans though to start tie-down roping and heading sometime in the next year. In addition to Junior High, Tristan Smith is also a member of the Colorado Junior Rodeo Association. Outside of rodeo, Tristan is fairly active in sports at his middle school, where he is in the 7th grade, and is on both the basketball and baseball teams. When he isn’t competing in sports, Tristan says that he enjoys being outside, whether he’s practicing or just hanging out.
So far in his rodeo career, Tristan says that he can’t really think of any one moment that he is more proud of than any other. He did have one rodeo though that stood out as more meaningful than any other. “My very first rodeo that I went to, I actually did terrible at pretty much everything,” he says with a laugh, “but everyone was so nice to me and it ended up being really fun. That’s the best part about these people. They didn’t look at how well I did; they just looked at how much I gave.”
When it comes to his future goals in rodeo, Tristan says he tries to not get too caught up with just wanting to win. “I just want to go out and try my best on every single run. That’s all that really matters. Although, it is a dream of mine to one day make it to the NFR. Winning a World Championship would be pretty cool too,” he says jokingly. Speaking of professional rodeos, Tristan says that the number one thing on his bucket list is to compete at every one of the really big rodeos across the country.
Most of Tristan’s other plans for the future center around staying involved with the western way of life. “Being around horses and cattle is really what makes me happy. If I could have a dream job, it would be either running my own ranch or being a horse trainer; maybe even both. In fact, if I have could have one other talent, or superpower even, it would be horse whispering. I would want to be able to just walk up to any animal, mainly horses, and have them do whatever I wanted; like be an NFR-level ropin’ or bull doggin’ horse.”
Tristan gets most of his rodeo inspiration from his two role models, Trevor Brazile and Joe Beaver. “They always go out there and do their best. And even though they win a lot, if they do lose, they can shake it off and go back out and win again the next day.” Tristan would also like to say thank you to his family. “My mom Dee takes me to all the rodeos, my grandpa Jack has really helped me with all of my horses, and my brother JT has always been there to support me. Having them cheering me on always means so much.”