Meet the Member Laura Lambert
story by Lindsay Humphrey By definition, Laura Lambert was born into rodeo. Both her parents competed professionally; her dad, Dale Motley, primarily in calf roping […]
story by Laura Martin
When Jim Persinger discovered the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association in 2012, feeling like he could still compete at the age of 50, the PRCA Gold Card member joined. Competing in his first rodeo at Estes Park, CO, he won the first round, came in second in the third round, and has been competing with the NSPRA ever since.
Growing up on the family’s farm/ranch operation in Longton, KS, Jim helped doing whatever chores needed doing. The family also had a farm supply store, and he helped his dad doing farm auctions. Jim attended auctioneer school and still does some auctions occasionally. He was a late bloomer in rodeo. “My dad rodeoed in his day, bareback and bull riding, and I always wanted to ride bulls, but mom said NO!” Instead, he focused on other sports growing up, playing football, basketball, and baseball at Elk Valley High School. He graduated in 1979 as his class Valedictorian.
Jim followed his dream of riding bulls at Coffeyville Community Junior College and Kansas State University. In his senior year, he made the short round at the KSU Collegiate Rodeo ending up seventh out of eighty competitors. Jim hung up his bull rope when he graduated in 1984 with his Bachelor of Science degree in Ag-Economics. “I found out after four years of riding bulls, it was enough.”
Focusing on his career in Ag-Banking, he’s proud of being able to help his clients get the loans they need to be successful. He missed rodeo though, so decided to compete in steer wrestling. This was also something he had always wanted to do because he enjoyed the horses and comradery he saw in this event. After filling his permit, he got his PRCA card in 1996. Unfortunately, he blew out his knee at the 2006 Cheyenne Frontier Days, stopping his rodeo career until he joined the NSPRA. He enjoyed other hobbies including boating and waterskiing and being active in his church. His faith is very important to him and says that God is opening additional doors for him.
Jim has won the NSPRA steer wrestling Championship three times, 2017, 2019 and 2021, and was the Reserve Champion in 2022. “I love to compete against guys my age and the NSPRA has good camaraderie among the contestants.” Jim was recently elected as the Steer Wrestling Director for the NSPRA Board. He said he felt a calling to do it. “I felt like I could help the association get more members, get good cattle to compete on, and keep it going in the right direction.”
Jim is most proud of his kids and watching them be successful in their own lives and careers. His son Cody is a plumber in Kearney, NE and is thinking of taking up steer wrestling too. His daughter, Taylor, also lives in Kearney, is a Certified Nurse Practitioner, and is mom to five-year-old granddaughter Bentley Grace, who Jim describes as a “red-headed spitfire.” Jim wants to keep rodeoing as long as he can be competitive as it gives him a reason to work out and stay strong. It also gives him a social life and keeps him active and young. He says he also has the best team of horses he’s ever had, so wants to keep going. His goals include more NSPRA steer wrestling championships, adding heading in team roping in addition to steer wrestling, and he would still really like to make the PRCA’s Mountain States Circuit Finals at some point.
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