story by Lindsay Humphrey “I like the super slow looking runs because they aren’t wasting motion,” said Anita Cruse who still considers herself a student […]
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Meet the Member Chad Shaw
story by Lindsay King
At 9 years old Chad Shaw found himself aboard an Appaloosa in the western pleasure arena. For the next three years Chad continued down the path that his grandpa Dave also chose. Eventually, he got bored and decided roping was more his speed. “Growing up in Pagosa Springs, my grandpa had more than 70 head of horses. I saw how much he was spending and decided to learn how to be a farrier,” said the Kirtland, New Mexico, cowboy. Not only was Chad the first in his family to taking up shoeing as a hobby, rodeo was also a new venture. A roping pen in their front yard was the setting of Chad’s conversion from the show horse industry to rodeo.
“We were renting a property in Pagosa and they had roping practice out in that pen in front of our house. My brother (Dusty) and I would pop latches and help bring up steers.” The brothers turned their attention to tie-down and team roping. Only a year later, their grandpa began selling off his studs, broodmares and show horses. He got out of the western pleasure business in favor of hauling his grandsons to rodeos. “We bought our first rope horse out of Texas and we liked it so much that we kept buying more rope horses. Grandpa said he never missed horse showing, he just enjoyed watching us rodeo.” Grandpa hauled the boys all over the country for little britches and high school rodeo.
When Chad was 17 he was deeply invested in calf roping. He had three calf horses at the time and by the end of the year he had lost them all to injury or colic. Without the means to replace his string, Chad found himself once again in the saddle but now it was on a bronc. “I tried bull riding in high school, but I got tore up and just decided it wasn’t for me. I helped with saddle bronc practice some and they asked if I wanted to try it.” After only three head, Chad was hooked and hasn’t looked back since. He can still be found roping, but that’s usually only over the fourth of July weekend. “It really wasn’t a hard transition; I was still around a lot of the same people. I did it for the thrill and I still love doing it.”
Fellow bronc riders Chance Barnes and Daryl Triplet helped push Chad when things got tough while Joe Paxton and Benny Barnes, pickup men, kept egging Chad on to be his best. Daryl was instrumental in showing Chad the fundamentals of the sport as he had all the practice horses. For the last three years Chad has won the Red Rider All Around title in his hometown of Pagosa Springs. To accomplish this feat Chad ropes both calves and steers while also riding in the saddle bronc and ranch bronc. And every year he’s been in the NRMA – three – he’s made the finals and finished the year out in second place. That year-end championship has alluded him for long enough and Chad is working hard to finally take home the title in 2020.
Life has really changed for Chad in the last year after he married Ashely and they welcomed Cash to the family last October. Between his family and operating heavy equipment for a construction company in Colorado, Chad will be slowing down when it comes to rodeo. However, he is the saddle bronc riding director for the NMRA for the second year in a row, so slowing down might not be all that slow after all. As the year gets rolling, Chad is doing his part to propel the NRMA forward. “The NMRA is really trying to make a comeback. We don’t want to just come to a town and have a rodeo without telling anybody we are there. We want to involve the community in it and help grow the sport and our association.”