Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member John Ward
by Hailey Dixon
WSRRA Media Coordinator
John Ward lives in Dillon, Montana, where he manages Dragging Y Cattle Co. He has been married to his beautiful wife, Ellen for 15 years. Together they have two daughters, Josi (12) & Maddie (9). They enjoy working on the ranch together. He also enjoys long range shooting and is looking forward to taking his oldest daughter, Josi, out on her first hunt this fall.
John is definitely a hard worker and a family man. He hopes that these qualities will teach his girls through example, “I hope my children learn a good work ethic. That they will know that they can accomplish an overwhelming task with confidence, and that they learn to be independent. I hope they live by the same values taught to them through our country way of life.”
He has been competing in ranch rodeos since high school. “I have always liked going to them, so I could be around all the guys I looked up to that were really good hands. I wanted to watch and learn from them, to figure out how and why they were so consistent, which seemed to always put them out on top.” John says.
As anybody that leads a life in agriculture knows, it is a physical lifestyle. John doesn’t do anything special or different than he would on a daily basis to stay in shape. As far as mentally he always tries to be smart in his roping and horsemanship to put himself in the position to make a shot on the first loop or be in the right position to turn the cow at the right time. By doing this he believes it helps him when he gets to the rodeo and when the pressure is on he has prepared himself and knows he can make it happen when he needs to.
When asked what event he loves at a ranch rodeo, John responded, “I think my all-time favorite event is the Team Branding and I’m sure it will always be. I like the fact that every person on the team must work together to be fast; it can’t be a one-man show. It really showcases the unity of a team.”
John can always be found on a great looking horse. He has competed on multiple horses throughout the years, some of which he has raised and others that have been purchased as colts. “I have always trained my own horses. The two I currently ride I purchased from Riverbend Ranch as 3-year olds.” John said.
“My favorite part about the team is that we are all working for the same result. There has to be a high level of trust that everyone can do their part. When selecting teams I believe the thing that has helped the most is we have worked together on a daily basis and we are able to read the other person and know what they are going to do in a situation and be able to assist them without saying anything.” Says John.
John is a member of a pretty elite club- he has won the WSRRA Finals two times! The first championship came in 2011 with his brother, Jason Ward, Ike Folsom, and Casey Brunson and the other was in 2013 with Blake and Brian Dixon and Luke Wiggins. It will be exciting to see what John can accomplish at his next WSRRA Finals and we wish him the best of luck!