Meet the Producer True Western Roundup
story by Megan Hayes True Western Roundup began 10 years ago with the mission to produce events that preserve our western heritage. All while promoting […]
After a 5.3 second third-round win, 11-year member T.J. Watts, strutted away from the finals as the 2014 CPRA champion team roping heeler. “I’ve come close to winning it in the past and finally got it done,” the five-time finals qualifier said. Having won over $8,500 throughout the course of the season, T.J.’s numerous dallies allowed him to best his closest competitor by approximately $1,500 in the year-end standings. “For the most part, the rodeos are run smoothly and everyone is treated fairly. I think that our newly appointed President (Don Scanga) did a great job and kept the association on track. He really tended to business,” T.J. said.
In addition to the CPRA, T.J. also competes in the Wyoming Rodeo Association and the PRCA, where he says he sticks primarily to the Mountain States Circuit rodeos and finished 10th in the 2014 standings. “I had my gallbladder taken out in the middle of the season, which put a halt on traveling over the fair run,” T.J. explained. In the past two consecutive years prior, though, T.J. made a run for top position and was named the reserve year-end champion both times. “I’m all healed up and working on a couple younger horses just in case something was to happen to my main horse,” T.J. said. While he will occasionally rope calves, T.J. says that he tries to avoid it as much as possible. “I don’t care to step off of my horse,” he admits. “I will also head at jackpots, but only for the reason of seasoning colts.”
Recently moving to Hudson, Colo., T.J. is about 7 months into a career as a Brand Inspector for the Longmont District. “If there is a perfect job out there for me, this is the one. I get to work with livestock, but it also allows enough time for me to rodeo. I am enjoying my new job and hope to make the best of it,” T.J. said. The Eads, Colo., native grew up with cattle, which caught his interest as a young boy. “At about 5 years old, I started going with my dad and grandpa as they day worked and took care of our own,” T.J. said. His attention in bovine extended to the arena and his background in the event led T.J. to compete. While his parents (Dawn Rae and Milton) roped within the USTRC and open jackpots, T.J.’s grandpa (Don Pfingston) would take him down the road to events entered. “He roped in a lot of open jackpots and is a former member of the PRCA. Roping is all I remember ever wanting to do,” T.J. said. The “bug” was also inherited by younger brother (Trice, a CPRA average contender and USTRCA header). “We roped together growing up and my family has turned countless steers for me in the practice pen. If it wasn’t for that and their support, I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish my goals,” T.J. said.
As the 2015 season approaches, T.J. hopes to defend his title, while also enjoying his 4-year-old youngsters. “I’m excited to get the two new ones going. I’d like to try to go to as many CPRA rodeos as I can. Another great thing about the association, is that they are getting to a point where they are paying so good and I don’t have to make every one to accomplish what I want,” he said.
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