story by Ruth Nicolaus Madison Richmann is president of the Colorado High School Rodeo Association. The Keenesburg, Colorado cowgirl competes in the breakaway roping, barrel […]
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Meet the Member Tate Welch
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Tate Welch builds rifles.
The Colorado High School Rodeo Association member has built two AR-15s.
He starts with an unfinished receiver, using a drill press and router to mill it out. Then he purchases the other parts and puts it together.
He likes to include features in his guns that the manufacturers don’t include, like a 3.5 lb. trigger (instead of the standard 7 lb. trigger), and making them left-handed, since he is a lefty.
And when he’s not working on guns, he loves to rodeo.
A resident of Franktown, Colo., he competes in the cutting and the light rifle shooting. Even though he loves rifles, he’s better at the cutting, in part because his family has a history in the discipline. His great-uncle, Buster Welch, was influential in the cutting world.
Tate’s cutting horse is a sixteen-year-old chestnut gelding named Pockets, who is adept at his job. “He has an eye for a cow and he’s very athletic,” Tate said. But he has a goofy personality. “He’s kind of hard to be around when he’s not in front of a cow. He doesn’t have a lot of manners.”
A senior at Elbert High School, he spends half of his day in school and the other half in a work study. In school, he’s taking several classes: a natural resource class, weight lifting, English class, and senior seminar. Of the four, natural resources, where he learns about rangeland management, forestry and water rights, is the most interesting.
For his work study, he tags along with a farrier, which he really enjoys. “I’m not planning on pursuing it as a career, but I want to have the skills to shoe my own horses in the future,” he said. He loves problem solving shoe situations and being around the horses.
Tate is the vice-president of his FFA chapter and a member of the FFA parliamentary procedure and horse judging teams. His chapter won districts in “parli pro” and has qualified for state.
In school sports, he runs the mile and the two-mile in track.
His favorite meal his mom makes is biscuits and gravy, and he loves the strawberry-rhubarb pie she makes. He washes it down with another favorite, Red Bull.
Tate jokes that if he was given $1 million, “I’d fill up my fuel tank,” he laughed. But jokes aside, if he had a large sum of money, he’d buy land and cattle and set up a ranch.
In his spare time, he loves to hunt antelope and mountain lions. The cats are his favorite; he harvested a lion and is having the pelt made into a rug.
Tate has competed at state finals the last three years in the cutting and the last two years in the light rifle. He’s qualified for the National Junior High School Finals Rodeo in the cutting his sophomore and junior years, making the short round his sophomore year. He went to Nationals in the light rifle last year.
Tate’s parents, Bob and Kristen, love their son. His dad appreciates Tate’s “heart for God and his thirst for adventure. I enjoy how he’s adventurous and up for anything, and he’s not afraid to try new things.”
His dad also says Tate strives to be well-rounded, with a variety of skills, and he loves watching his son set his own goals. “He wants unique experiences, and it’s fun to watch him think about and plan for them.”
This fall, he will attend Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida.
He has a younger sister, Allie, who is also a member of the Colorado High School Rodeo Association.