story by Linda Clark “Rodeo is a part of who I am. I don’t know any different kind of life and I like it like […]
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Meet the Member Bubba Boots
story by Michele Toberer
Rodeo has been a big part of Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Association cowboy, Bubba Boots’, upbringing, and is an even bigger part of his goals for the future. Bubba doesn’t actually remember a time that rodeo wasn’t a part of his life. “I’ve been rodeoing for as long as I can remember. My parents, Jodee and Aaron Boots, would take me and my older sister, Makayla, to junior rodeos growing up and I’ve stuck with it ever since.” As a third-generation cowboy, Bubba spent his youth rodeo years in Saint Anthony, Idaho, competing as a team roper, calf roper, and steer wrestler; and although he still team ropes at jackpots occasionally, steer wrestling has become his strongest focus in rodeo.
Bubba’s dad competed as a steer wrestler, and his mom as a breakaway roper, but as many rodeo parents do, they scaled back their rodeo competition to support the next generation of cowboys and cowgirls in the family aspire towards their own gold buckle dreams. Aaron works in the construction industry, and Jodee works at Brigham Young University, and roping is more of a hobby they dabble with now when they have the time. Bubba’s grandpa, Max Palmer, worked as a pick-up man for many years, and he and Bubba’s grandma, Kate, are happy to support their grandson. “They have a big farm and a lot of responsibilities, but they have always been so supportive of me and have traveled to watch me at many rodeos.”
Besides competing in the National High School Rodeo Association for the state of Idaho through his South Fremont High School years, Bubba also competed on the Cougar’s wrestling team. “Like rodeo, I started young and wrestled and competed in rodeo through high school, before I graduated in 2015. Wrestling is definitely a tough sport and it taught me how to work hard, like rodeo also has.” Bubba was the 2015 Idaho Champion Steer Wrestler and qualified for national finals every year but his freshman year, in steer wrestling and cutting.
After graduating, Bubba went on to college rodeo for Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, as a steer wrestler, team roper, and calf roper, while studying in the school’s welding program. He competed as a header for 3 years, and his senior year he heeled in addition to calf roping and steer wrestling. Bubba qualified for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Finals all three years he was at Northwest, in all three of his events, and won the National Champion All-Around Cowboy title at the 2018 NIRA finals.
Currently, Bubba lives in Tremonton, Utah, where he works for Baylor Roach Fencing Company as a welder. “We weld pipe fence and arenas. I had been working here in the summers during college for a couple years, and after I finished my welding certificates, I came here full-time. Baylor made the finals as a steer wrestler a couple years ago, and his brother Baxter and I travel to quite a few rodeos together. Most of the time, Baylor or Baxter haze for me. Being able to live down here with Baylor has been a great opportunity. Showing up at practice and having a guy like him there to help has been great. He’s been to the top level, so to be around that when you’re practicing definitely steps up your game.” When he’s not working or rodeoing, Bubba likes to ski, and he and Baxter like to scout around looking at old pickup trucks.
Since moving to Utah, Bubba has enjoyed competing in the Rocky Mountain Professional Rodeo Association. He credits his dad for getting him such a good start in steer wrestling, as well as his college coach, Dale Nose for being extremely supportive. Bubba has been competing on an 11-year-old roan gelding named Mike for the past three years and is impressed with how the horse has worked for him so far. “The RMPRA rodeos have been great to go to for sure, they have good steers and I enjoy the association.” Bubba would like to qualify for the RMPRA finals this year and would like to make the WNFR finals at some point in his future.