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Meet the Member Tyler Montano
story by Lindsay King
Tyler Montano is shooting for the stars, to land among the rodeo ones that is. This Gallup, New Mexico, troubadour has set his sights on breaching the top fifty PRCA ropers in the next five years so he can hit the bigger rodeos. For now, he spreads his time between Arizona, New Mexico and Stephenville, Texas. “I did junior rodeo for a while but then I quit. In seventh grade my family went to the NFR and I caught the bug. I picked up a rope and got really serious about it again,” said the header and calf roper. This recent Central Arizona College graduate found his groove by roping calves in rodeo and making a living at team roping jackpots. “My first winter in Arizona I won about $22,000 at jackpots, which led to multiple qualified runs at the World Series of Team Roping finale.”
It was after Tyler’s first world series win that he realized his proudest moments were always accompanied by his dad’s watchful eye. “I wasn’t lucky enough to be roping with my dad for that one, but I realized that all of my proudest accomplishments happened because my dad was there. I just want to do well for my family and make a good name for them.” At just 21 years old, Tyler has his priorities in order. “School was a big part of my life up until May. I didn’t really rodeo outside of New Mexico or Arizona. I wanted to get school done before I started traveling far.” Tyler graduated with an associate’s degree in agricultural business and another in equine behavior. Both should come in handy as he begins the slow, but progressive climb to the top of rodeo. Tyler’s time in college taught him how to be coachable and find value in any and all advice he receives.
“My plan for the next few years is to keep perfecting my loop and my horsemanship so I can be confident in my abilities when I get out on the road and I can be there for the long haul.” When things have gotten slow in the past, Tyler comes back to Gallup and works for his dad or some friends while he regroups.
“I compare rodeo to golf a lot. On any given day the best guys in the world can rope or golf well and then turn around and be at the bottom the next day. It tests your ability to stay positive and it is a lot easier said than done.” Tyler draws some of his inspiration from the greats. Two that stand out for him are Fred Whitfield and Brent Lewis. “Fred came from the very bottom and Brent didn’t have the most opportune upbringing, but they both just kept their heads down and when the world said they couldn’t they said they could.”
Tyler identifies with the work ethic of Brent and Tom, but his upbringing was everything he could have ever asked for. The son of a rancher, rodeo was woven into the everyday routine while growing up. Tyler also essentially cut his teeth at NMRA events as a kid and into adulthood.
“Everywhere I go for the NMRA it feels like a hometown event. Sheldon and the entire board and committee are doing a great job with the association. The goal for the past few years has been to get it going again and the association is better than it has been in a long time.” This is Tyler’s seventh year as a member and in 2016 he was the All-Around Cowboy.
While biding his time in Arizona, Tyler entered a handful of PRCA rodeos in the turquoise circuit. He’s been a member of the Grand Canyon association for the last three years. “I am just working towards the NFR right now. I know it won’t happen overnight, so I am focusing on progressing my knowledge of the sport.” Tyler loves both roping calves and steers almost equally, but it’s the tie-down roping he plans to be doing inside the Thomas and Mack one day. “Team roping has allowed me to fund a lot of my calf roping; it sure pays a lot more. But I really do love calf roping the most.”