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
Winston Brown from Piedmont, South Dakota, competed in three finals rodeos in less than three weeks this July, beginning with the NLBFR in Guthrie and the IFYR in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and ending with the NHSFR in Gillette, Wyoming. He has three younger sisters also competing in the NLBRA and junior high and high school rodeo, and the siblings are unfailingly supportive. “We haven’t had to split up a whole lot – we’re pretty fortunate to go to the same rodeos and watch each other compete and succeed,” says 17-year-old Winston. “The first time I walked into the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, it was a jaw-dropping moment – we were pretty fortunate to be there. It was our first time in Oklahoma, and going to the IFYR was a big experience. It was also my first time competing in the NHSFR, and it was really cool to be there. I made a lot of friends – it’s neat there’s so many kids from different places competing.”
Winston finished in the top 15 at both the IFYR and NLBFR, and came home as motivated as ever to continue improving his roping. He’s competed since sixth grade, while his dad, Bill, rode bulls, and his mom, Teri, high school rodeoed. “Dad lost an eye riding bulls, so he wanted me to rope. I started breakaway in sixth grade, and our friend Scott McGinley, who roped calves in the PRCA, helped me those first four years. I learned a lot from him.” Since his freshman year, Winston has also roped often with Jay Mattson from Sturgis, South Dakota, and worked in the practice pen with Shane Hanchey and Dane Kissack. “My parents and sisters have really helped and pushed me, and Sage Robinson Miller, my fitness teacher, and Steve Keszler, my wrestling coach, have helped me grow into the best athlete I can be.”
While his tie-down roping runs are smoother and faster each season, Winston has a renewed interest and drive for team roping since he switched from heeling to heading. “My main partner is Nolan Smith, and he switched from heading to heeling the same time I switched ends. It’s come naturally for both of us and made us a good team. I’ve always been a really competitive person,” Winston adds. “I started wrestling at three and seen quite a bit of success in that, so I’ve been pushing myself to be as successful in rodeo as in wrestling.”
Winston’s main calf horse and partner is Playboy, a reject cutting horse from Texas that he calls one of the most solid horses in the state. His 18-year-old heel horse, Casper, has been a roping mount for all four of the Brown children, competing in multiple events and finals. Roanie, Winston’s head horse, was his dad’s team roping horse when he first competed. “He’s very technical and knows his job,” says Winston. “My last horse is Chuckie, and I’ve put a lot of work into him with roping calves. I hope it pays off!” Practice is a nightly event for Winston and his sisters, Wacey (15), Wregan (11), and Wraylee (eight). Their mom and dad coach them, and Winston helps with their roping and goat tying.
Outside the arena, Winston is a senior at Sturgis Brown High School. He enjoys his Algebra and math classes, as well as fitness and wrestling. “If I get a weekend off, our family likes to go out to eat or see a movie, or I’ll spend time my friends and keep myself as active as possible. I want to keep pushing myself to be the best performer possible so one day I can compete with the pros in both my events. I know it won’t come easy, but I have the drive to do it!”
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