story by Lindsay Humphrey “When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a cowboy and now that I’m old enough that’s exactly what […]
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Meet the Member Rowdy Nimrod
story by Lindsay Humphrey
When Rowdy Nimrod was little, he only had eyes for the roughstock events. He wanted to be like Justin McBride and all the other guys slapping backs behind the bucking chutes. “One day I just changed my mind and decided I wanted to rope calves,” said the 18-year-old from Hartshorne, Oklahoma. “It was a crazy switch and really shocked everyone. It was like a light switched and I didn’t want to ride bulls anymore, I just wanted to rope.” Rowdy was just getting into the groove of junior high rodeo when he made this drastic switch. The idea of roping calves was handed down to Rowdy by his grandpa, Johnny Martin, who dabbled in tie-down roping.
The single-man event is now Rowdy’s favorite specifically because success is rooted in mastering the fundamentals. “There are so many things that can go wrong in a run that I think it’s the hardest event in rodeo. It takes a lot of hours in the practice pen to perfect the small steps to even be consistent.” Of all the hours Rowdy’s spent practicing, plenty of those were simply roping the dummy or tying a calf on a post. The hard work has paid off for Rowdy as he’s headed to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma, on a rodeo scholarship.
This recent Hartshorne High School graduate will be taking three events to the NIRA Prairie Circuit: tie-down, team roping and bull dogging. “My heeler broke his arm midway through this year and by then everyone had partners so I couldn’t really find another partner. I had to drop it for this season.” Last fall Rowdy had only jumped five steers when it was time for the first OHSRA event of the season. “In my first year of bull dogging, my main goal was to adapt and just see how it went.” Going into state finals, Rowdy was sitting second in the big man’s event. Rowdy competed in his first and last national high school finals last month in the steer wrestling after finishing second at state.
Surprisingly, Rowdy is the only one of his four other siblings–Trace, 11, Kollin, 11, Kage, 87, and Jett, 4–who rodeos. “My mom (Krystal Wilson) competed when she was younger, but my dad (Justin Nimrod) did not. If I need help sorting calves or opening chutes, I can always count on my siblings for whatever I need and that’s been a huge help.” Many of Rowdy’s skills have come from JW Hammons, a good family friend.
“My grandpa took me to JW’s house when I first started roping and ever since then he’s been a huge help.” Rowdy has spent many hours helping JW work outside horses, which has also helped his roping tremendously. “He has helped me fix bad habits and techniques as a roper, but he’s also helped me become better all around.” Roping skills are important of course, but Rowdy values the horsemanship experience he’s gained the most. “You can rope really well and be a bad horseman, but you won’t get near as far as you would by being a good horseman.”
As Rowdy reflects on his time competing in the OHSRA, he smiles at the friendships he’s forged along the way. “The main thing I’ll miss next year is all the underclassmen I’ve become really good friends with and everything that high school rodeo has taught me about competing.” Leveling up from junior high and junior rodeos pushed Rowdy to be as tough as his competition. “High school rodeo really showed me how good of a competitor I truly wanted to be. It showed me that I want to be my very best.”