story by Linda Clark “Rodeo is a part of who I am. I don’t know any different kind of life and I like it like […]
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Meet the Member Taylor Winn
story by Lily Weinacht
Taylor Winn is sitting third in the RMPRA team roping header standings. The 26-year-old from Annabella, Utah, has competed in the RMPRA finals in both heading and heeling in years past, and this year he’s headed to the finals alongside his heelers Jace Nielsen and Dylin Ahlstrom. Taylor started competing in the RMPRA in 2011, and enjoys that the rodeos are close to home. “The people there are fun to be around, and it’s more rodeo opportunities closer to home.”
Rodeoing closer to home also means rodeoing with his family. “What I love most about rodeo is that it’s a family thing,” says Taylor. His dad, Brian Winn, is a team roper who’s won the RMPRA finals at least five times, while Taylor’s mom, Shelly Winn, is a breakaway roper. His brother, Kycen Winn, is also a team roper and competes in the RMPRA. “We do rope together occasionally, and we travel together. It’s fun to be together with your family all summer long,” says Taylor. “Rodeo is what I’ve done since I was in a stroller, so I’ve grown up in that lifestyle, and I love the atmosphere and competing.” Rodeo also introduced Taylor to his wife, Shianne. They were married in early September, and Shianne served as Miss Rodeo Ogden in 2018, among holding other rodeo queen titles.
Along with the RMPRA, Taylor is a #7 header in the USTRC and a #8 heeler in the WSTR, and he’s competed in the WSTR Finale the last four years. He also won state team roping for Utah in 2010 and 2011, and qualified for the CNFR in 2016 and 2017 while rodeoing for Southern Utah University. “We compete at the ACTRA association here in Utah and go to their finals in Reno. My family all goes down to Las Vegas, and my brother won the 13 and 14 qualifier down there last year,” says Taylor. “We like to watch the rodeo when we’re down there, but for me, I’m a school teacher and I don’t teach during the summer, so roping is my second job. It’s less of a hobby and more of a profession. What I like about rodeo is if you put in the hard work and the effort, you can get out of it whatever you want.”
Just as roping is a family tradition for Taylor, so is teaching. His great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were all school teachers, and Taylor is entering his third year as a math teacher at North Sevier High School. “I teach the juniors and seniors. When I was growing up, every night I would go home and practice and my dad would be there. We pretty much had the same schedule. I love the lifestyle and family atmosphere of school teachers, and it also works out great for rodeo. There’s quite a few of my students who compete, and when I do ropings around here I get to compete with some of my students.
“My horse, Showtime, is 6 years old, and last year was my first year to rodeo on him. He’s probably the best horse I’ve ever had, and it’s been challenging because he’s young and still has a lot to learn, but he’s got so much talent. We went to Cheyenne and made it back to the short round this year. When he was a 4 and 5-year-old I won $12,000 on him heeling in the World Series until he got too big and he became a head horse,” Taylor describes. “I think one cool thing about rodeo is that everybody is competing against each other, but everyone is willing to help each other out. Quinn Kesler and his dad Greg Kesler and their family has always been there for me and let me ride tons of their horses.”
Taylor appreciates that there is always something to improve on in team roping. His goals keep him moving forward, and he hopes to finish the RMPRA season putting his best effort toward an RMPRA title.