story by Lindsay Humphrey In the three years Chizm Kuykendall competed in the ribbon roping in the OKJHSRA, he never had the same partner two […]
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Meet the Member Isaac Gholson
story by Lindsay Humphrey
“I’ve been riding horses since I could walk basically. I’m the fifth generation to live and work for Pitchfork Land & Cattle. My dad (Carl) and grandpa (James) worked for the ranch in Guthrie, Texas, and Waurika, Oklahoma. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been ranching, working hard, and riding good horses,” said Isaac Gholson. Surrounded by team ropers, it was almost a certainty that Isaac would pick up the event eventually. “Everyone roped, so it was easy and natural to come into it.” Isaac first began competitively roping in 2017.
As a high school senior, Isaac decided to pick up tie-down roping to give him a competitive edge for rodeo scholarships. “My grandpa trains horses and he had one he thought we could make into a calf horse. It’s fun, but it’s definitely more difficult than team roping. When things come together, it’s a lot of fun and I’m enjoying it so far.” Isaac has been accepted to Tarleton State University, but he’s also considering a two-year-school right out of high school. “I love to learn. In addition to high school, I’m also going to vocational school in Duncan, so when I graduate, I’ll be a certified machinist.”
Heading into his final spring rodeo season, Isaac is optimistic that he will get to earn his spot at the OHSRA finals. “Last spring, we didn’t really get to rodeo. We were sitting okay, but we didn’t really get to work for our spot at state like I think we will have to this year.” Similar to his peers, Isaac is hunting for consistency in both of his events. That goal should help him place well at state and head to the NHSFR. In 2020, Isaac and his partner missed nationals by finishing state in the cryin’ hole.
“The biggest trouble I have with rodeo is tie down roping. I still don’t know enough to be entering, but I’m getting out there for experience before I try to rope calves in college.” Things are slowly but surely starting to come together in that event for Isaac. Never one for handouts, Isaac appreciates the hard work and dedication that rodeo requires. “I’ve never liked having things come easy. It’s nice having to work for your success in rodeo.” He also enjoys the community of friends the OHSRA has provided in the last three years.
With his family (dad, Carl, mom, Kimberly, and sisters Karlee Belle, 21, and Jaci, 14) behind him, Isaac is set up for success in his final high school season. “My grandpa, dad and Luke Brown have helped me more than anybody else inside the arena. They’ve been a huge part of my roping and gotten me to where I’m at today. I’m never satisfied with my roping and neither are they. I like that they’re always pushing me.” In his modesty, Isaac doesn’t take credit for the arena-ready mindset he’s developed.
“I’ve learned that if you recognize your mistake instead of making excuses, you’ll be a whole lot better off.” Last fall Isaac and his partner got off to a rough start. “We would have good runs and then on the next one, someone would mess up. Instead of making excuses, we got back into the practice pen to improve through those mistakes.” Isaac and his partner, Kyle Thomas, will start the spring season in 12th place. Sitting in the middle of the pack is a great place to start from Isaac’s perspective. “I like roping against people that are better than me. I feel good when I can go out there and rope with them and move through the levels of team roping.”