Meet the Member Joe Stoddard
story by Lillian Landreth Many a high school rodeo athlete has been shaped by Joe Stoddard’s contributions to the sport, from his blood relations to […]
story by Kristen Sublette
17-year-old Sage Bach is a senior at Florence High School in Florence, South Dakota. A member of the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association, he is currently competing in reining cow horse, calf-roping, and team roping as a header.
Sage made it to the 2020 High School National Finals Rodeo in reining cow horse. One of Sage’s goals is to make it to nationals again in reining cow horse and win. He has his eyes fixed on the saddle at state finals this year. Some of the actions Sage is taking towards his goals are practicing hard, watching others, and calling his helpers and trainers.
Rodeo has sparked Sage’s love for horsemanship. When he is not competing, he is training, tuning, and learning more about his horses. His rodeo horses are Midnight, his reining horse, Breeze, his calf-roping horse, and Royal his header. Additionally, Sage trains and rides horses to sell, between him and his family he is working with 11 horses. Last year for school credit he even got an internship riding colts.
Sage is very proud of how hard he has worked with his cow horse, “It’s taken a while to get where we are today.” Midnight is a mare from Idaho he bought as a 5-year-old. Sage has been training her for the past three years.
Sage is living and breathing cow horses, his favorite TV show is currently “Inside Reining” on RFD-TV. He listens to podcasts “The Cow Horse Full Contact” by Chris Dawson and Russel Dilday and “Along for the Ride” by Andrea Fappani.
His biggest motivation is being better than he was the day before, which is reflective of his favorite quote, “When things get tough, work harder.”
If Sage could spend the day with any celebrity, he would choose the person he admires most, Kelby Phillips. Kelby received the 2018 National Reined Cow Horse Association’s, World’s Greatest Horseman award. Sage learned a lot from Kelby at one of his clinic’s in Guthrie, Oklahoma last year. Sage also cites his father as someone he looks up to, “he helps me with all three of my events. He is always down in the barn with me, he’s had horses his whole life and used to train them.”
Sage was influenced by his siblings from an early age to get into the sport of rodeo. Sage is the youngest of three siblings, Taylor Huppler, 29, Tyra Ronke, 27, and Seth Bach, 21, Mother Anita Bach and Father Todd Bach. “My whole family has done it. All my brothers and sisters. I grew up around it and watched them. My second oldest sister made it to nationals in poles, so I got to experience that. My brother won a couple saddles in calf roping and team roping. They help me a lot.” When Sage was a child he had a pony at the ripe age of 3. His parents hauled it to all the rodeos for him, he started rodeoing in the youth competitions as soon as he could. As a kid he loved to help hold the horses when the farrier was there and make conversation. He has always loved to be outside and loathed his chores that put him indoors.
The Bach family also breeds and raises border collies. Sage loves to train the dogs. He says after high school he will continue to help breed and train the border collies. Sage sees no end in sight for his riding career as he will continue to ride, train, and sell horses. Sage also likes the idea of shoeing his own horses and might pursue farrier school. As for now Sage is enjoying just being a kid, hanging out with his friends and working towards his goals.
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