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Meet the Member Jimmy Nugent
story by Terry Rhodes
Having a second chance at life and rodeo is a rare and precious gift. But that’s just what Jimmy Nugent got. With kidney functions that were ebbing towards 9% efficiency, Jimmy’s outlook was bleak. He was only able to work a few hours a week at the business that he loved and built from the ground up. His days in the rodeo arena were long since over.
Jimmy’s second chance came in the form of a twin brother. “I am a very lucky individual. I have an identical twin brother, Joe Nugent. He gave me one of his kidneys. I went into the Mayo Clinic October 25, 2011 and was able to walk out four days later. It was like I got my own body part back. We were the second set of identical twins the clinic had ever done transplants on.”
Following his recovery, Jimmy says that it has been a three year transformation and he is now back to running his businesses and working out. “I had some friends that told me I should get back to riding, but I told my wife I wasn’t sure if I should. I had been off almost nine years. But I did miss the camaraderie and friendships, so I came back in 2014 and had a great time. I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had.”
He joined the NSPRA when he turned 40 but soon had to leave because of his health. With his 2014 comeback he is now starting his first year as the bareback event director. He likes Senior Pro rodeos and their organization. “As a rough stock rider I really like the way rodeos are set up because you don’t have to travel so much. You can go the one location, stay for a few days, and compete in two or three rodeos. You get to know local (committee) people and of course you get to know the Senior Pro people more.” Most often Jimmy travels to rodeos with his wife, Tamara and is thankful for her company on those long drives. “She is my number one fan and my number one critic. She understands bareback riding and she’s a heck of a coach.”
Jimmy found his way into rodeo after a college career as a pole vaulter. “It was 1989 and I was just out of college with nothing left to compete in. And I’m a person that likes to compete, especially back when I was in my early 20’s. I chose bareback riding because it took such athletic ability to do. I had a couple of friends that helped me and I went to a Marvin Garrett clinic. It took me a year to get going and it was a year of hard knocks.” He spent many years competing in the New Mexico Rodeo Association and served as president of for 11 years. In his rodeo career he’s gotten on over 1,200 horses.
Jimmy, 50, and Tamara make their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Together they own Moving Solutions, Inc. with Tamara as company CEO. Their son, Zach is a project manager in the company. “Zach was the 2012 CPRA Rookie of The Year and the 2012 New Mexico Bareback Champion.”
Goals for the future are to continue to rodeo and build their company. “Tamara and I have a 10 year goal and the plan is for Zach to eventually take over the operation.” Leisure time is spent on the golf course or hiding in their cabin in the hills and doing some fishing. “The best part for us is that our cell phones don’t work up there.”