story by Michele Toberer Dale Davies has been blessed to live a life centered around horses and rodeo. Growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado as […]
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Meet the Member Kyle McCabe
story by Lily Weinacht
Kyle McCabe is a two-time GCPRA Incentive Team Roping Champion Heeler. He won both titles—2018 and 2015—with header Bob Pimental, and won his very first title in the association in the open heeling in 2014. At the time, the 41-year-old husband and father of four from Queen Creek, Arizona, had just started working for Earnhardt Ranch. He began rodeoing in the GCPRA halfway through that same season. “I got hired on to help train roping horses, so I got a lot of roping in. I was roping with Myles Payne and we dominated that year,” Kyle recalls. “Ever since then I’ve been in the incentive. Primarily what I do is heeling, but now I’m starting to head because my oldest daughter is heeling and just got her number.”
While Kyle rodeoed in the PRCA for a time, he appreciates the proximity of the GCPRA rodeos and being able to make three or four runs at one rodeo alone. Time is an especially precious commodity since all four of his kids, Sadie (14), Jace (13), Stella (11), and Spur (9), ride and rope. They compete in junior rodeos and jackpots, and Kyle’s wife, Trish, ropes as well. Their children are the fifth generation on Kyle’s side of the family to rodeo. Kyle was swinging a rope before he was even walking, and spent his summers working on his grandfather’s ranch outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. “That’s where I learned a lot from my grandfathers and my uncles and dad. We did a lot of cowboying out there. You couldn’t really miss out there or you’d catch it on the backside.” He primarily roped on the ranch until halfway through high school when he started competing in jackpots. His number was raised three times in one year. Kyle also competed in tie-down roping and even tried bull riding briefly, but preferred roping in the WJRA and competing in Navajo Nation Rodeo Association as he got older.
“Right now is our off time, but we try to rope at least two or three times a week,” Kyle explains. “We have a lot of young horses right now and a couple we’re training, and we even have the kids training horses.” They raise one or two colts a year, while the gray mare Kyle won the 2018 incentive on is one he raised out of a favorite mare. “She’s only six or seven years old and she’s already taken me to the Grand Canyon Finals three times, so she’s pretty fun. The kids ride my horses too, so I don’t really own a horse,” Kyle says with a laugh.
He continues to work for Earnhardt Ranch doing cowboy work and raising Corriente and beef cattle. Trish originally helped him find the job in 2014 when she started giving riding lessons to some of the Earnhardt grandchildren and learned they needed another ranch hand. “The Grand Canyon rodeos I enjoy because they’re right here in the state and I can be gone for a weekend and then be right back home and still be hustling,” says Kyle. “My main goal now is to get my kids going. I think they have a lot of talent, and they could do a lot with what they know, and learn a lot more. As for me, I’ve always loved doing rodeo, and next year I’m thinking maybe I’ll do the All Indian Rodeos and be a world champion in that.”
Kyle also extends his thanks to Earnhardt Auto Centers, L7 Ranch, Desert Mountain Equine, and Foresight Finishing for their support.