By Lindsay Whelchel For 11-year-old Tucker Kelsey of Henryetta, Okla., competing in the Northeast Junior Rodeo Association is a path he was probably always destined […]
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Meet the Member: Jimmy Joe Tyler
By Lindsay Whelchel
For 17-year-old Jimmy Joe Tyler, it’s always been about focusing on getting better, graduating up and inevitably winning. The Northeast Junior Rodeo Association cowboy started in rodeo at a young age and progressed through the levels of roughstock as quickly as he could before heading to the other end of the arena and picking up a rope.
“I first started rodeoing when I was about 4 or 5. My dad rodeoed, and my sister rodeoed, and I rode sheep, up to calves, up to steers, up to bulls, and I started roping the past couple years,” he says.
Dad, Charlie, rode bulls and broncs and sister, Jessie, ran barrels and poles.
Now Jimmy Joe’s focus is on calf roping and breakaway roping for the NJRA. He’ll be going into his junior year of high school in Inola, Okla. this fall and would like to one day make a living roping, but he has time to solidify his plans.
Right now, he’s just enjoying being with his friends in the sport he loves.
“I just like being around the atmosphere and having all my friends around just roping and having a good time. I have a practice pen here at the house, and it’s just what I love to do.”
He learned how to rope on a trusty mare called Joe Bo who is around 27 now and his main mount is a gray filly called Gun Smoke.
In addition to Jessie and Charlie, Jimmy Joe has a brother named Gene and his mother Terry. Jimmy Joe also credits many of his extended family for their support. “I’d like to thank my uncle Tommy Tyler, my cousin Nick Miller and my grandpa Jimmy Tyler, and my dad as well, for all those guys pushing me and supporting me and my mom for being awesome,” he laughs.
Jimmy Joe calls his friends in the NJRA like a family too.
“You get to go out there and have fun with people that you like, and it’s just a big family down there. They treat you like their own. They don’t steer you wrong, they’re just good people down there,” he says of the association.
When he’s not in the practice pen, Jimmy Joe is playing football or squeezing in some time to hunt and fish.
Above all, rodeo has taught this young cowboy that success is a process.
“Learning, that’s the biggest challenge in roping is just learning,” he says and adds, “You have to take it slow and realize you can’t be the best right when you get in the saddle. You have to take time and practice and eventually you’ll start getting it.”
And that’s a life lesson he can carry in whatever direction he goes.