Story by Ruth Nicolaus The Mid States East Rodeo Association member lived in Texas for five years before moving back to her parents’ farm in […]
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Meet the Member Tim Gilliland
story by Rayne Sherman
Tim Gilliland, 29, of Brown City, Mich., can’t pinpoint any specific event that sparked his interest in team roping. “I watched a lot of cowboy movies as a kid so I was aware of roping. One day I told my dad I wanted to learn how to do it,” said Tim. The Gillilands were not a rodeo family, but their involvement with horses had progressed from 4H to team penning. They had met a few ropers through their team penning friends and their neighbor, Frank Jablinsky, also roped. “We had a group of ropers more than willing to help us so me, my dad, John, my grandpa, Jack, my sister, Julie Parlett, and two of my cousins all learned. We went to a couple of schools at Stuart Pletcher’s house. Frank had Michigan Roper’s Association (MRA) ropings at his house and we helped with those. I learned the most about roping from Frank and he took me to my first Mid States Rodeo Association (MSRA) rodeos,” stated Tim. Tim has been a member of the MRA for 15 years and the MSRA since 2008. He competes mainly on the heading side, but has started heeling a little bit in the last two years. The part of roping Tim likes best is the people involved in the sport and the family atmosphere. “Roping is something I always strive to get better at. When I go to a rodeo and there are higher-numbered ropers there, I watch how they handle cattle and how they rope,” said Tim.
Outside of rodeo Tim works as a project manager for a commercial construction company, a position he has held for five years. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Michigan State University. Tim has also worked as a farrier, but is trying to reduce his business to allow more time to concentrate on roping. Tim’s future goals are to continue improving his roping and buy his International Professional Rodeo Association card in a few more years. He plans to heel more this year because he has several young horses he’d like to start as heel horses. In working with his young horses, Tim has discovered he enjoys training and would like to learn more about it.
Tim and his wife, Stephanie, have been married for four years. They had been acquaintances because of their involvement in horses, but weren’t formally introduced until Tim inquired about using Stephanie’s parents’ indoor arena. Stephanie competes at Foundation Quarter Horse shows in the reined cow horse event and gives lessons to children who are learning the same discipline.
Tim would like to thank his family for all of their support because he wouldn’t be able to rope as much or go to as many rodeos without it. “I work a lot of 10 to 12 hour days and on the weekends. My family is what allows me to be able to practice and actually go roping. A lot of times I come home from work, my horse is loaded and everything is ready. My wife and my sister help take care of my horse. My dad helps drive and my mom, Sandy, sends us with food and is my cheerleader. My grandma, Helen, is also a big supporter,” said Tim.