Meet the Member Ryan Bestol
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 […]
story by Lindsay King
“My proudest moment was a couple years ago when my mom and I won a team roping together. That was the most special win I have ever had. She was heeling for me and we won a world series jackpot,” said Taylor Holliday from Lemoyne, Nebraska. “Roping with your mom is not something everybody gets to do, it was just fun to get to haul with her and keep it all in the family.” Coming from a family who always roped, Taylor started in rodeo when she was six running barrels on her mom’s horse.
Though Taylor focuses on heading, she is also an accomplished breakaway roper. “The last few years I have focused on team roping because there are more places to go rope steers than calves around here.” However, in college, Taylor took a shot at the CNFR in the breakaway in 2011. Donning a vest for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Taylor started out at Western Oklahoma State University in Altus before transferring to UNL and then graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. “I rodeoed everywhere accept for southwestern. I got my degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. It was not always the most fun.”
She now works for county assessors in Oklahoma, working with computer software. The mobility of the job allowed Taylor to move back to her home state of Nebraska this year. This will be her fourth year holding a NSRA card, with two of those years coming from before her family moved to Oklahoma. “The NSRA really tries hard to do a good job for the contestants as far as making sure we have good stock and plenty of added money to compete for. The secretaries are always great to work with, they make sure you have everything you need to go down the road and are entered up the way you need to be.”
Four years ago, Taylor started roping in the WPRA. Aside from making the CNFR, winning rookie of the year in the WPRA for heading is one of Taylor’s biggest accomplishments. However, last year she was the champion header in the prairie circuit. “I just try to focus on three or four things I need to in my run before I get into the box. Then I back into the corner and clear my head. The start dictates the whole run, so I really focus on getting that right and then I let muscle memory take over for the rest of the run.” Outside of roping in the WPRA, it is almost anyone’s guess who Taylor will head for at any one rodeo. However, her most frequent partner in the NSRA and M-SRA mixed team roping is Ridge Evans.
Set up just like the NFR, complete with the yellow banners, the CNFR is Taylor’s favorite rodeo to date. However, she aspires to replace that by qualifying for the American in the breakaway. Currently sitting to make both the NSRA and M-SRA finals this year, Taylor’s ultimate goal is to walk away from one of the finals with the saddle, in either event. “One of my main goals is to qualify for the world series finals. I just want to get to some bigger ropings around here and work towards that.” Having been all over the world – Paris, Australia, and Ecuador – Taylor can say with confidence there are truly no people like those of rodeo. “A lot of other sports people compete in they only worry about themselves, but rodeo is the exact opposite. Friends are doing anything they can to help you succeed.”
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