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Meet the Member Colton Mooney
story by Lily Weinacht
Colton Mooney of Herriman, Utah, took home his first title with the RMPRA last season as the 2018 RMPRA Steer Wrestling Champion. The 25-year-old has competed in the association on and off for the last six or seven years in between college rodeoing for Weber State University. He also enters team roping and tie-down roping, but primarily steer wrestles in the RMPRA. “I went to have a fun time this last summer and ended up winning it,” says Colton, who travels with three other RMPRA steer wrestlers. “They (the RMPRA) make sure everyone is involved, and their judges are always fair.”
Along with another season of the RMPRA, where Colton is currently sitting second in the steer wrestling, he purchased his PRCA permit this year. “I’ll stay on the circuit and see what this year entails. There’s a lot of good guys in this thing, so I’m sure it’ll be a wakeup call, but it’ll be fun. The fun part of rodeo is trying to beat yourself,” Colton explains. “In steer wrestling, I honestly enjoy the friendship that you have with everybody. Steer wrestlers change horses throughout the year, and you have your hazer who basically gets nothing out of the run and tries just as hard to help you win. There’s no other sport like that. Most of the time I have Zach Trapp haze for me, and we’ll swap in and out.”
Colton grew up roping calves with Matt Shiozawa and his dad, Kent Shiozawa, and it’s still a favorite of his today. “I like how scientific the sport is. Every step before makes the final step, and we broke down every step. Roping with them (the Shiozawas) was a blast,” says Colton. He competed in all three of his events in college, and finished ninth in the nation steer wrestling at the NHSFR in 2011, followed by ninth in the steer wrestling at the 2013 CNFR.
Since he doesn’t have an arena at home, Colton often hauls to Lehi to practice at an arena owned by Tom Lewis’s dad, Stan Lewis. “We have a pretty good group of kids that meet up there and have a good time. Tom’s always been really good helping the college and high school kids have a place to practice. We supply our own steers, and when he’s back in town, he’ll help coach us,” says Colton, who’s equally grateful for the help of his parents, Kandle and Alan, who come watch many of his rodeos, as well as his younger brother, Creed. Also part of his rodeo team are his horses. Tivio, his 19-year-old steer wrestling horse, has been with Colton since he started rodeoing in sixth grade. “He’s my best friend, and he looks out for me. There have been a couple runs that never in a million years did I think I would catch a steer, and he put me there. My haze horse is Tuff, and he’s new to the sport and has a lot of try. They make a good team and it’s been working out well.”
During the week, Colton works for a finish construction crew, and he enjoys going to the gym, as well as hunting and snowmobiling. “I just want to make the (Wilderness) circuit finals. Every cowboy would love to make the NFR, but that’s a tough one. As soon as we get a schedule, we’ll be putting in for RMPRA and pro rodeos,” says Colton, who will be traveling with the same friends in both associations. “(My motivation) goes right back to making memories with your friends. I’ve always looked at it like you can’t care too much about it—there’s a lot of variables in rodeo and if you get too hung up on one run, you mess up the rest. The other part is the horses. There’s no other animal that’s going to give his or her all for you, so it’s cool to have that companionship.”