Story by Riata Cummings Denim Wilson is the 13-year-old daughter of Dave and Tracina Wilson of Tabiona, Utah. She has a younger brother, Ryker, and […]
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Meet the Member Gary Grant
story by Riata Cummings
Hailing from Ogden, Utah, Gary Grant is the 13-year-old son of Gary and Dez Grant. He has a 12-year-old brother, Ty, and a 9-year-old sister, Gracee, and the family enjoys playing games, going shooting, hunting and camping together. Gary also enjoys roping with his brother and father. Gary attends Walk West Junior High School, and the eighth grader’s favorite classes are math, history and science.
At the Grant house, rodeo is a family affair. Gary Grant Sr. used to ride saddle bronc horses and now enjoys working as a pickup man, and Dez Grant grew up competing in barrel racing. Gary has been riding horses for as long as he can remember, and he competed in his first rodeo at 2-years-old as a mutton buster. This is Gary’s first year competing in the Utah Junior High School Rodeo Association, and he is a chute dogger, ribbon roper, breakaway roper, team roper and tiedown roper. He loves tiedown roping because “there is lots of rush and adrenaline. You have to go fast to win.” So far, Gary has qualified for state finals in each of his events and he hopes to finish the season strong.
Gary competes on two horses; Handsome, the bay calf horse with plenty of speed and a good attitude, and Red, the big sorrel head horse with a calm disposition. During rodeo season, Gary tries to rope calves or steers at least once a week. The rest of his practice time is dedicated to the fundamentals and technique work on the practice dummies.
Rodeo has taught Gary to “never give up” and that “there is always another rodeo.” Gary knows that if you are “always trying harder to be better, you will eventually get to where you want to be.” Gary lives by the saying, “Don’t weaken.” The simple saying reminds him to be calm during competition and to keep pushing for his goals. Gary’s determination to persevere came, in part, from experiencing the loss of his horse, Spiffy. The struggle to replace him and to adjust to other horses showed Gary that he was “good enough to compete on other horses and strong enough to fight through the hard times.”
One of Gary’s greatest strengths is his ability to “love everybody.” Gary likes that rodeo gives him the chance to support his friends and cheer others on. Gary learned his supportive nature from some of his heroes, including his father, his Uncle Sky and his cousin, JC Malone. One day Gary would like to be “as good of a roper and as good of a person” as those three men. Gary would like to his family and friends to know that he is grateful for their support and for the opportunity to compete in the greatest sport on dirt.