Meet the Member Trysten Rawls
story by Lindsay Humphrey All four Rawls boys essentially live and breathe team roping, day and night. At the helm of that passion is Trysten, […]
story by Lindsay King
Fresh off his first trip to nationals, Jacob Hickman from Wilson, Oklahoma, is now a freshman agriscience major at Western Oklahoma State University in Altus. “Coming into state we were leading it, but in the last round we had a little bit of trouble so it bumped us down to third in the average,” said the 18-year-old. A little more trouble at nationals was nothing the team ropers could not overcome to take ninth in the average at the end of the week. “Blayne Horn and I started roping together last fall, we are both going to Altus together and continue as roping partners. We are even living in the same house this year.” Team roping is a popular event at Western, making it imperative that Jacob and Blayne are consistent. “The coaches have to decide who gets to go to every rodeo, so we just want to be good enough to at be chosen to go down the road.”
Jacob started roping at age 9, getting his first instruction at NRS in Texas. A friendship struck up in a 4-H hog show pen led Jacob to roping with Charles Pogue. “I was showing with Charles’ daughter and we started talking. Charles eventually asked me to come over and rope a little bit. I have been roping ever since.” That was ten years ago. The hog shed is empty as of May, leaving room for plenty of square bales and time to practice. “I had about 40 pigs my senior year and I have shown hogs since I was five. After the spring shows and OYE, the gilts went to be mommas and the barrows went on the trailer.” Between his parents, Barry and Sara, and Charles, Jacob has plenty of role models to look up to in life and rodeo. “I have always looked up to Charles and want to make it to the NFR like him one day. I aspire to be as smart of a header as he is.”
The first generation of his family to rodeo, Jacob’s dad now ropes with him occasionally. Roping has opened many doors for Jacob, he considers it one of the best decisions he has ever made. “This year I will miss getting to travel with my family and all my friends that I have grown up rodeoing with.” His favorite part about competing in the OHSRA was traveling to nationals this year. Living in a primarily flat state, competing in the crooks of the mountains was an experience for Jacob. However, his favorite memories come from state finals in the OKJHSRA and OHSRA. “When we were younger all my friends and I would just go have fun doing whatever–roping the dummy, having shaving cream fights, or just hanging out after the rodeo.”
The challenge of Cheyenne is appealing to Jacob as he pursues his NFR dreams. “In Oklahoma, nobody scores them out that far. You really need to have good horsemanship to run down a steer like that. There you really have to score and then your horse better be fast or else you are not going to do any good.” Jacob always does his best not to watch the runs before him, he keeps his mind on just about anything but the other ropers. “You have to keep your mind straight, know your job and then go out and do it. You can be sitting behind the box and watch people try to be fast and then they miss and you do the same thing.”
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