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Meet the Member Brad McReynolds
story by Lindsay King
Nothing can keep a good man down and that’s exactly the case for Brad McReynolds. Ranching, roping and riding is just how he moves through each day and that’s been his normal for the last 65 years. “My great, great grandfather homesteaded our ranch in 1854 and we have kept the 1,200 or so acres together so far,” said the life-long calf roper from Groesbeck, Texas. Once Brad’s older brother started roping it’s all he wanted to do also. “It wasn’t until I went to college at Sam Houston State University that I really got interested in roping. They had a really good coach – Sonny Sikes Junior – and he was a huge mentor for me. That is where I learned how to rope.” As a sophomore, Brad won the tie-down roping at the College National Finals in 1974.
He made the finals his last two years of school and placed in the top ten. He was trained to be an agricultural education teacher, but the ranch was calling his name the loudest. “I became a full-time rancher and never looked back. I just roped as a hobby on the side for a long time until I got married in 1984 and bought my PRCA card.” He was always hovering around the twentieth hole, but never could quite breach the top fifteen for a shot at the NFR. Team roping wasn’t a big event back in the day, everyone was a tie-down roper but Brad chose the latter simply because he liked it. “I just like getting off and tying them down. It is more exciting to me.” Brad and his wife, Sarah, spend their weekends at NSPRA and Texas old timer rodeos.
“Sarah runs barrels and I rope calves and then we do the ribbon roping together. It is fun to have something that we can do together and compete.” Escaping the late summer Texas heat landed Brad in northern Colorado for their run of NSPRA rodeos in August 2010. That atmosphere, competition and lack of heat caught Brad’s attention and got him hooked on the association. In 2012, an almost fatal horse wreck resulted in a severely crushed pelvis that Brad wasn’t sure he would ever recover from. The driving force behind his recovery? His wife, Sarah, and the unyielding will to rope and ride again. It’s all Brad has known and he wasn’t ready to give it all up just yet.
Almost ten years after his accident and Brad has undergone two hip replacements so far, but he doesn’t let that slow him down one bit. He’s still the head rancher on his family operation and competes in the tie-down roping every weekend. “We run 200 mama cows and about 1,000 head of crossbred yearlings. We keep them for six months and then we sell them and buy another 1,000. I guess you could say we run 2,000 head of yearlings every year.” His heated passion for cattle ranching is just a touch warmer than the fire burning for roping and rodeo. One full-time employee allows Brad to fulfill his roles with the NSPRA on executive board and as the tie-down roping director.
“Serving on the board is a lot of work if you do it right. It’s a lot of responsibility.” As the tie-down director Brad is responsible for making sure all the calves are in order for each NSPRA event. He doesn’t have to attend every rodeo, but he manages to get to a majority of them. “Usually I know someone at the rodeo that I can have put eyes on the calves and I just have to make sure the stock contractor brought enough for the event.” As a member of the executive board, Brad and the other members keep the interest of the other competitors at heart while making decisions. “We vote on the different things that come up and try to keep frustrations as low as we can. It’s common sense really.” One board member is an inspiration for Brad: Kyle Jumper. “He probably works harder than anybody else on the board.”