Meet the Member Chris Tester
story by Ruth Nicolaus There’s not many people across the western U.S. who don’t know Chris Tester. At least not many people in the rodeo […]
story by Siri Stevens
Hauston Roth has been a member of the ICA since 2015. His dad, Matt – rode bulls in the ICA in the late 90s and early 2000s. The 25 year old started with ranch broncs and switched to bareback riding. “I made about three rodeos in ranch broncs and I got stomped pretty good – collapsed my lung, bruised my liver, three broken ribs – I spent three days in ICU.” He wanted to stay with rough stock. “I’m scared of bulls, and a saddle bronc saddle was expensive; I had enough money for a bareback rigging.”
He struggled his first year. “I ended up separating my shoulder – had to go into surgery to get my shoulder rebuilt.” He took a year off to focus on healing and building up his physical strength. “I realized how physically demanding that event was. I started lifting weights and started CrossFit. I also do yoga to help with core strength.” He updated his equipment and headed back to the bucking chutes. “I won my first rodeo – I couldn’t not win a rodeo after that. I got bucked off maybe two times that year and won that permit challenge by $1,000.”
His mom, Arena Mills, who was never around rodeo before Hauston, has been his biggest supporter. “She has never asked me to stop – she’s seen me get drug around the arena and get stomped, but she still shows up to the rodeos.” Cody Miller, the bareback director for ICA, also helps him. “He watched me my first year get bucked off time after time – he set me up with a glove and gave me some pointers and said, ‘just weather that storm – once you get the hang of it, things will start rolling for you.’ I started making money – and even riding against him, and he still helps me. “His girlfriend, Selena Hadley, also keeps him going. “We were at Shashone this year; I drew a big horse and he yanked me down. Before I crawled over the chutes, she was there.”
Hauston works as a machinist at Bear Mountain Machine. “I’ll be here for the rest of my life, God willing. I get paid from the neck up instead of the neck down. It works my brain and it mentally strengthens me – I’ve got something to be busy with all day, and nothing is the same.” He has made everything from gun parts to prosthetic limb parts to shot glasses. “We are all over the board.”
Hauston’s parents divorced when he was very young. “I was one week with my dad and one week with my mother – they were both remarried and I thought ‘whoo hoo’ two Christmases.” His childhood taught him to work a lot harder and work for things. “Divorced parents have to work twice as hard to provide. My dad would work 100 hours in a day if he was able.”
He plans to take rodeo as far as he can. “I want to get better and better to where I’m competing with those top caliber riders.”
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