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Meet the Member Cayden Floyd
story by Lillian Landreth
“I love the competition and you meet so many more people through rodeo than other sports. Those are the top two things I like about rodeo,” says Cayden Floyd. The sport has taken the 18-year-old far afield from his home in Buffalo, South Dakota, including competing in Lebanon, Tennessee, at the NJHFR in 2016, and watching his dad and uncle rodeo at the professional level since he was a baby. “My dad (Colt Floyd) made the Ram National Circuit Finals in 2016 and we also went to Disney World, and my uncle (Chason Floyd) made the WNFR in 2017 in steer wrestling.”
Rodeo took Cayden, an avid steer wrestler himself, to the 2022 20X High School Rodeo Showcase in Rapid City. He’s been invited to competed there the last three years in either steer wrestling or team roping, and this year threw his steer in 4.6 seconds to win the Showcase. “I was busy with basketball leading up to it, so I didn’t get to practice much, but steer wrestling is muscle memory, so I guess I still had it down. My mom (Robyn Floyd) kept my horses in shape because I was gone until 6 at night with basketball, so she really helped make sure my bulldogging and hazing horses were good.”
Cayden also competes in tie-down roping in the SDHSRA, and even rode bulls his freshman year and won state in 4-H rodeo, but decided to stick to the timed event side of the arena. “Steer wrestling is the favorite, but I really enjoy my roping events as well. It’s a family event, and everyone in Harding County loves steer wrestling. It’s just the way it’s been as long as I can remember,” Cayden explains. “My dad and uncle help me a lot, and also the friend groups I’m in. There are about six other kids that like to get together and practice at least once a week. The best way to be a competitor is to have your best competition at practice. Sometimes college kids or pro guys stop in, so there’s always somebody extra there. My dad hazes for me and I haze quite a bit for my buddies and my dad. It’s a lot harder than it looks.”
Cayden’s steer wrestling horse, Joe Joe, is recovering from an injury for much of the season, so Cayden is using his uncle Chason’s horse, Tiger. The bay gelding carried Chason to the WNFR in 2017 and was the 2016 Badlands Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year. Tiger was trained by the Floyds, as well as Cayden’s heel horse, Stormy. He also rides his gelding, Hot Rod, in the tie-down roping. Cayden’s family runs nearly 30 horses on their ranch for use in rodeo and working cattle. Cayden’s brothers, Revyn (12) and Corbyn (8), also rodeo.
During calving season, Cayden typically moves out to his grandparents’, Ron and Cindy Floyd’s home, to night check heifers. The ranch was started by Cayden’s great-grandparents. “I do whatever needs done. It gets tiring, but it’s fun,” says Cayden.
A senior at Harding County High School, Cayden makes the 30-mile trip to school 4 days a week. He holds a 3.98 GPA and gold honor cord for his efforts on the SAT. Playing football and basketball and participating in FFA, National Honor Society, Student Council, and woodworking and welding in 4-H keeps him on the move. “I really enjoy all of school,” says Cayden, who is pursuing a degree in civil engineering. He’ll be a freshman this fall at University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, and playing linebacker on the university’s football team. “I want to make [NHSFR] Nationals—that’s top of my list right now—have a good career in civil engineering, and make the most of my second chance in football.”