Interview by Sam Campbell It was a hot July evening as the cowboy’s rolled into Elmore County Rodeo in Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho. Everyone was in […]
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Meet the Member Skip Sam
story by Sam Campbell
It was at the 2019 Western States Ranch Rodeo National Finals in Winnemucca, Nevada that I first met this young man. I was there photographing the finals, and saw this gentleman throw a side armed loop and was so intrigued I went up and starting talking to him. He was so easy going, and laid back and fun to talk to. We have been at the same events on numerous occasions, and I always try to find him to say hello.
Skip was born in Winnemucca, Nevada Skips dad was a firefighter, and his mom was a community health representative. He had one brother, and one sister. According to his mom he had a rope in his hands from a very young age. As a kid Skip was always around cattle, and horses. He competed in calf riding, team roping, and breakaway. His love and passion for rodeo has never died.
Skip has been a member of the Western State Ranch Rodeo Association for approximately 15 to 20 years. He has been to the Western State Ranch Rodeo National Finals three times. Skip said the first time he qualified he was on a pretty good team. But unfortunately he was disqualified because he wasn’t aware that he had to have a membership card to compete. While he was deeply disappointed he never gave up on that desire, and dream to compete. He has since been back to the finals twice more. He competes in every event he can from team branding, team roping, and trailer loading to name a few.
Skip has lived off and on in McDermott, Nevada for the last 15 years. He has a son Jaylen who lives in Reno, and a daughter Megan who lives at home with him.
I asked Skip what have been the highlights of his time as a member of the Western State Ranch Rodeo Association, and it was pretty simple. He stated “no matter where I am or what I am competing at I just have fun. I don’t stress just go in do your job, be safe and have fun.” I believe those are words that we can all live by in our daily lives. We were never meant to stress about things or live in fear. Those are definitely words we can apply each day, don’t stress go in do your job and have fun.
Every time I have had the pleasure to be around Skip Sam one thing is very obvious He is A Cowboy! His demeanor, his kind voice, his willingness to set and chat it all points to the lifestyle he loves, and the life he lives. I would have to say the man he has become can be traced back to his roots as a youngster swinging a rope, calf riding, team roping, and breakaway to competing in team events as he got older has helped to mold him and has kept his energy, and drive to continue competing in rodeo, and ranch work a live.
I mentioned earlier about his side armed loop, and have heard some call it an under hand loop. I asked skip about it and he told me he has found it is the most accurate loop to throw. I asked Skip where do you tend to look when you are throwing it, and he said the side of the calf’s neck. He stated that he was explaining it to a young roper and why he uses it. “Most people will throw and over the head loop. If the calf breaks to the left it is just a matter of making a quick adjustment with your horse then you are set.”
I ask Skip what advice he would have for young people that have an interest in competing in rodeo. I loved his answer “Do your best, have fun, and no regrets.” Wow what great and simple advice. One last thing that Skip told me and meant a lot to me as a photographer is “We so appreciate a good rodeo photographer. “I go back and look at your pictures, and one it helps me to correct my mistakes, and two you guys are capturing memories and telling a story to those that wasn’t there.” Spot on Skip I think every true rodeo photographer that is doing it because they love the sport is trying to capture memories and tell a story.
Skip Sam is an amazing young man that I have been so blessed to get to know, and call friend. I said Skip is there anything else you would like to add and in his kind and gentle tone said “yes… if you know any single girls send them my way.” You bet Skip will get right on that. What a pleasure to get to know the member Skip Sam.