Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Cade Pearson
story by Lily Weinacht
Cade Pearson of Emporia, Kansas, has his sights set on qualifying for the NHSFR for the first time to finish out his senior year of high school rodeo. The 18-year-old is sitting second in the KHSRA tie-down roping standings, and also team ropes as a heeler with Chase Jackman. “My parents always told me when I was a little kid I’d tie the dogs down, and when I got older, I moved into calf roping,” says Cade. “I enjoy the horses more. Calf roping horses have to be really well trained, and you have to work hard at it. I felt really good about the fall season in the calf roping—I missed a few calves I should have roped, but I’ve had things come together three or four times and it’s working out.”
Cade grew up watching his dad team rope, and embarked on his own rodeo career in sixth grade. When he was a sophomore, Weston Patterson and his dad Ed Patterson introduced Cade to roper Dustin Jilek, who has mounted Cade on his horses the last three years. “I look up to my dad because he’s always pushed me to be better, and Dustin and Jeanette Jilek,” says Cade. “They’ve really helped me by mounting me on really nice horses, and I’ve hauled to some rodeos with them too and that helps a lot. Everybody helps everybody. The Kansas High School Rodeo Association is just a great big family.”
Every night, Cade ties down from the post, and he goes to rope with Chase Jackman and Dustin Jilek. “I rope on Toy, Dustin’s horse, and I team rope on my horse Sid. I started him as a 2-year-old and I was hauling him when he was 3 and he’s 8 now. Toy is awesome—he leaves the box really hard, and he has a lot of speed and works the rope really good. Dustin’s daughter ropes on him too, so I go over there a few times a week and rope with them.” Cade often hauls to rodeos with his dad, Dan, and his mom, Sara, and 15-year-old sister, Sadie, come watch him compete as well. “I like Dodge City a lot. For some reason the bigger pens are my setup, so I’ve done good in Dodge City and Garden City.”
A senior at Emporia High School, Cade enjoys his government class, while he’s also attending Flint Hills Technical College and studying industrial engineering technology. “It’s to train us to run the control logic on machines that make parts,” Cade explains. “I’ll have a technical certificate at the end of this year when I graduate, and I’ll go back and get my associates degree. There’s a lot of companies that work with the tech college, so I have a lot of different options. If I’m not roping and I’m not at school, I shoot some pool. I have a little cousin that I like to take squirrel hunting, and I like calling coyotes too.
“My main goal for rodeo right now is to make Nationals with it being my last year. Another goal is to finish my tech certificate and get on my feet and get life started, and I plan on amateur rodeoing when I’m out of high school.”