Meet the Member Slade Thompson
story by Julie Carter When you’re not naturally gifted with talent, you make it look like you are with try. Portales Junior High rough stock […]
story by Lindsay Whelchel
It’s important to have a plan when it comes to achieving success, and that is no different for the sport of rodeo. This is a fact that eighth-grader and New Mexico Junior High School Rodeo Association, cowboy, Wade Hatch knows and keeps a priority.
“I think to really succeed is always having a good attitude about everything and always being accountable for every run, not just going out there just to rope a steer, making sure you’re disciplined and doing everything correct and being accountable for each and every run,” Wade explains of his plan.
Unlike other school sports, rodeo is completely up to you when you practice and how you practice, and Wade likes that aspect, he assures.
Competing in rodeo and doing well takes self-discipline. Wade focuses on rodeo over doing any other school sports, but the reward is you have a lot of fun. “It’s just enjoyable. It’s a good pastime,” he says.
Wade’s dad, Shane, pro-rodeoed, calf roped and team roped for a living before becoming a livestock auctioneer.
That had an impact on his young son.
“I’ve always been around it growing up and just always being around it got me into it,” Wade says. He sticks to roping like his dad and has qualified for the junior high nationals the past two years.
In this journey Wade has had a lot of support. “I just want to thank my friends and family for always giving me help whenever I need it,” he credits.
Shane, Wade, and Wade’s mom, Gwen, make their home in northwest New Mexico between Farmington and Shiprock.
“Where I’m from it’s a really diverse area. It’s a neat, kind of high-desert area,” Wade says. This rich outdoor environment has inspired Wade beyond just loving to rope outside in the arena. He enjoys fly-fishing and hopes to one day get his master’s degree in biology and run an outfitter business.
A rope will surely stay near to this cowboy too. As this is Wade’s last year in the NMJHSRA, he’s looking forward to going on to high school and competing in the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association next.
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