story by Lindsay Humphrey Few father son duos have collected more Linderman Awards than Chip and Kyle Whitaker of Chambers, Nebraska. Kyle alone has 10 […]
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Meet the Member Taylor Davis
story by Lindsay King
When Taylor Davis isn’t riding and roping for his day job, he’s doing it as a competitor and as a pickup man. He got the opportunity to learn the pickup man trade back in high school and jumps at every opportunity to keep it up. “A friend of mine (Wes Barthel) used to put on the Madison high school rodeo and he always had me pickup there. I talked to Greg McKay and he gave me a chance,” said the Ericson, Nebraska, native. After growing up in Norfolk, Nebraska, Taylor’s family moved out of town where they could keep a few horses. “In the summer I used to go to my aunt and uncle’s ranch in Bartlett. That is where I learned to rope and ride.” When Taylor was a freshman he got a job at a feedyard just down the road from his house. In addition to riding colts at home, he took many with him to work to get some real-world experience.
Going down the road used to mean heading to the feedyard, but now it’s about steer wrestling, team roping and being a pickup man. “I pickup every chance I get, but I definitely compete more than I pickup. The picking up helps me get down the road so I can rodeo and I enjoy it.” Taylor can’t choose a favorite between his events and his job in the rodeo arena, each one speaks to him in their own way. Each time Taylor backs into the box his mind clears and he focuses solely on his next steer. “One thing I have always been good at is clearing my head. It doesn’t matter what is going on in life or around me, all I think about is running that steer.”
This summer Taylor’s mental strength was put to the test. “There were a couple of times this summer when I thought about slowing down or even quitting. I’ve got two good traveling partners (Amber Coleman and Kelly Khole) that I have known forever and they helped me through what I consider the bad times of this year and just kept me going.” An on-again, off-again bull dogging horse certainly didn’t help matters. Jumping between mounts isn’t part of the recipe for success. But the comradery between bull doggers is what Taylor credits for his positivity remaining intact throughout the rough season. “All of the guys are awesome. Everybody is really tight, and everybody helps everyone win. They’re like family.”
Taylor regularly travels with his bull dogging cousin Lane Day. But he also always has a haze and a mount from Chad VanCampen. “Chad has helped me a lot the last couple years. I actually rode one of his horses at the M-SRA finals.” The 15-year M-SRA member went into finals with redemption on his mind as he fought for go-round wins. For the last few years at the finals Taylor has split his time between competing and picking up. He’s quite accomplished in both areas: champion M-SRA bull dogger in 2013; year-end saddle in both the NSRA and M-SRA; a handful of pickup man of the year awards in both associations as well as the member of the year award in the M-SRA. It’s safe to say Taylor doesn’t do anything halfway.
Just because he’s a competitive guy doesn’t mean Taylor doesn’t come for the enjoyment of the sport at the end of the day. “As long as I can help make things go smoothly for somebody else, I am happy and had a good time.” That’s thanks in part to the people of the association and Taylor’s approach to everything he does. He’s thankful for everyone who supports him inside and out of the arena, including his parents. “I don’t think you can get a better set of guys to rodeo with than the bull doggers of the M-SRA and NSRA. It is pretty hard to beat our two associations up here.”