story by Lindsay Humphrey “I’m not much of a planner,” said Ryan Bestol of his storied rodeo career so far. “When I get something in […]
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Meet the Member Spencer Sinner
story by Lindsay Humphrey
After high school rodeo, Spencer Sinner turned his horses out on the ranch and headed to Lincoln. He didn’t competitively rope again until 2013. It might’ve been the break Spencer needed from the team roping arena so he could realize just how much he loved the sport. Spencer spent 3 years at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln before transferring to the University of Nebraska–Kearney where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural marketing. This Sargent, Nebraska, roper uses his college degree subliminally while working on the family cattle ranch. “I’m in partnership with my dad on the ranch I grew up on. We mostly raise commercial Angus cattle with a few baldies in there. We don’t really have any sand, so we’ve had some really good grass the last few years.”
There are very few memories that Spencer can recall when he wasn’t mounted on a horse, it was just their way of life. And it’s one he’s proud to replicate with his wife, Ginalee. “My wife and her family have Tierney Quarter Horses, and now we have one of the studs here on our ranch. That’s been something new for us.” Raising and training rodeo horses from the ground up has turned out to be Spencer’s favorite part of his amateur career. “The best part is taking a horse from start to finish. We are riding one of ten different horses around here every night.” Right now, Spencer is hauling Captain, a sorrel gelding purchased as a 3-year-old, but they have several younger mounts that are also proving to be gritty.
Spencer started riding as a toddler and was hauled around to team roping jackpots with his dad as a kid. Somewhere along the way, he got bit by the bug and couldn’t get enough of it. “My parents probably took me to every junior rodeo possible in the state. I did every little kid event from the barrels to the goat tying until I got into junior high.” Spencer competed at the very first junior high nationals held in Gallup, New Mexico. He was a chute dogger, team and calf roper at the time, and went to nationals in 2005. He kept roping in high school but took a break during college only to return to team roping as an adult.
“Growing up, living on a ranch and trying to rodeo at the same time was kind of hard but also easy at the same time. There were a lot of times when my dad couldn’t go because he was putting up hay or finishing something up.” Spencer never had to miss a rodeo or jackpot on account of ranch work, his parents made sure of that. The hardest part about roping today? Finding time to rope at rodeos and jackpots in between ranch responsibilities. “My wife is a big contributing factor to my roping today, she does a ton around here. She keeps the horses legged up and has the cattle up at the arena so when we’re done working, we can get right to roping at night.” Spencer said he feels like he goes 100 miles an hour all week just so he can get to a rodeo on the weekend.
For the last seven years, Spencer has been a member of both the NSRA and M-SRA. He’s currently serving as the team roping director in the M-SRA. With two growing amateur associations in one state, Spencer appreciates that both organizations take care of each other. “Both associations have really good co-approved rodeos going on between them. I feel like NSRA President Andy Miller and the crew do a good job of keeping everything running smoothly.”