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Meet the Member: Sutton Sandquist
By Lindsay Whelchel
Being an athlete is intrinsic to Sutton Sandquist. The 21-year-old Northwest Ranch Cowboys Association Saddle Bronc Director grew up as a wrestler and has forged a rodeo career as the first in his family to compete professionally.
“I had an uncle that used to flank for a rodeo stock contractor so he kind of was one of my influences, but I started when I was a freshman riding broncs and team roping, and it just went from there,” Sutton describes.
He had a bit of a slow start in both events but really gained in skill and success by going to Sheridan College in Wyoming to compete on the rodeo team and study Agriculture and Farrier Science.
“I met a lot of good mentors out there that helped me along and got me on a better track for bronc riding and team roping. I learned a lot out there,” Sutton says of his college experience.
Now days, in addition to competing in rodeo, he shoes horses and works on the family ranch where they raise Red Angus cattle in Trail City, S.D.. He competes in both events but has lately focused on team roping and training young horses.
The young equine athletes aren’t the only athletes Sutton is helping to mold. Sutton and his dad and brother coach a youth wrestling program as well. Sutton credits his dad Sonny with all of his motivation and support.
“My dad is probably one of the hardest pushes I’ve had for anything of my career, wrestling-wise or rodeo-wise, he was always there to make sure I was doing the right thing.”
Sonny runs the ranch alongside Sutton’s mom Amy who is also a kindergarten teacher. He has an older brother, a younger brother and two younger sisters and just got engaged to his fiancé Lindsay.
In life, Sutton focuses on being humble and hardworking.
“I like to work hard for people. I don’t like to let people down.”
He no doubt has those goals when it comes to his role in the NRCA. Sutton explains he likes the leadership, the finals and the association as a whole.
“It’s just a really good rodeo community around here,” he says and adds of everyone’s support of everyone else, “You know everybody when you go to every rodeo. Everybody likes to help out, and they’re really helpful, especially when you go to a rodeo, and you draw a horse. Everybody knows about it, and they give you confidence about it and really help you along.”