story by Ruth Nicolaus A phone call in December 2020 changed Whitley Sharp and her husband’s lives. The Idaho Cowboys Association barrel racer called the […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Katie & Jared Thompson
story by Siri Stevens
Katie Thompson runs the Facebook page for the ICA, designing the content, and keeping the members up to date on news and events. Katie’s business, Lariat Productions, does everything from video, photography, websites, and runs social media for around 30 clients. “I pretty much do a little of everything,” said the 31 year old transplant from Phoenix to New Plymouth, Idaho. “I came up here to rodeo one summer and met Jared and now we go back and forth,” she said. Jared is an all around horse shoer, trainer, and manages the cattle end for the roping productions – Lucky Loopers. “We rope every Tuesday nights and some weekends. Our Finale (The Champions Showdown) happens September 26. We do the jackpots at our house and a lot of our cattle go to the ICA rodeos.” Jared’s cousin is one of the rodeo contractors (Superior Rodeo) in the state, both amateur and pro. They live less than 20 miles apart, so when the cattle need to go to the rodeos, it’s not a big production to get them there.
Both Jared and Katie compete in the ICA; Katie competes in breakaway roping; Jared is a #7 header. Katie also competes in team roping, as a #5 heeler and header. Katie grew up in Phoenix. She started roping in 4-H and she grew up around horses. “My dad had a ranch down there and I started doing Arizona Junior Rodeo Association, moving up to high school.” She won the Year End breakaway in the AJRA in 2005, and qualified for National High School Finals in 2007. Along with breakaway, she team ropes both ends. She was the 2019 WPRA Columbia River Circuit champion heeler.
Katie is a self-taught marketing and graphic designer. “I was practicing with a guy that sold a lot of horses and he asked me to make a video and a couple weeks later he asked me to make a logo and it snowballed from there. He referred me to other people and I learned between Google and UTube.”Katie spends time in the saddle every day, roping or riding. The rest of her time is devoted to her marketing company. “Everything is changing all the time,” she said. “I’d like to expand my company and learn more graphic programs. We are considering having children in the near future.” She likes competing in the ICA. “It’s a good association and has some great leadership that is getting things done. I enjoy going to the rodeos – it’s something my husband and I can do together.”
Jared grew up just outside of Boise, Idaho. “I went to high school in Horseshoe Bend, north of Boise by 20 miles.” He started in rodeo when he was six. “I did all the timed event stuff at the junior rodeos, settling on calf roping and team roping – I mainly head.” He went to Treasure Valley for three years, calf roping and team roping for them. “I majored in animal science and ranch management.” He went to Walla Walla and took the CDL course. Life happened and he ended up as a horse shoer – a trade he learned in school at Treasure Valley. “I supply the cattle at the rodeos and ropings – I was raised on a ranch outside of Boise that my dad managed. We ran 800 head of mother cows and that’s where I learned my animal background.” He is looking forward to starting a family and become more productive as roping producers. “We are one of three producers in the valley and we’ve been getting to rope through all this.”
He met his wife at an ICA rodeo. “We hung out all summer and dated for another six years before we got married. I had cold feet.” Jared is the team roping director for the ICA. “It’s a family affair in our house – I’ve been on the board on and off for nine years now. My dad (Jerry) has been a judge for 12 years and my mom used to compete as a roper, and my cousin (Drew Blessenger) is a stock contractor.”