story by Lily Weinacht Brad Bates started riding bucking horses on a bet with his roping partner. In high school at the time, the pair […]
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Meet the Members Rustin Ferguson
story by Lindsay Whelchel
Rustin Ferguson is just 20 years old, but he’s already created a career, and livelihood for himself as a farrier, that blends seamlessly into a life-long love of roping and rodeo. “You can keep your horses in tip-top shape, or I try to,” he said of the skills he’s learned, and added, “You work for yourself, make your own schedule, if you want to enter a rodeo on a Thursday or Friday, you can go and don’t have to ask to take off,” making this a good job for a rodeo cowboy.
He credits his cousin, fellow roper and farrier, Rodney Smith, for helping shape his path from a young age. Rustin started roping when he was around 8 years old, and he both heads and heels in team roping, though he mostly heads. Rustin did high school rodeo before he graduated, and in 2011 he and Riley Grisham took home the state title in team roping and then went on to compete at the High School National Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyo. For the last four or five years, his focus has been on going to Tri-State Rodeo Association events, along with USTRC events.
“The rodeos are no more than two or three hours away from me, I like to keep it close. I don’t have time to practice much shoeing horses so I like to stay as close as I can,” Rustin says of Tri-State. The familial connection is as literal as it is deep. “Mostly everyone I know either ropes or rodeos,” Rustin says. His mom Teresa grew up barrel racing. Rustin has a big extended family. His dad is Rusty, and he has two sisters, Julia Rose and Bridget. He lives in Crystal Springs, Miss., south of Jackson, keeping busy with some cattle he has at his house and shoeing horses. When he’s not working, he’s roping.
After all of these years competing, Rustin has learned a few things about where to enter and where to put your money. He’s also become able to remain calm and quiet any nervousness. “I’ve been doing it long enough, I’ve gotten out of all of that,” he says and adds that he is a pretty laid back type of person overall. This summer Rustin is sure to be at as many rodeos as he can get to, when he’s not making sure others and their horses are rodeo ready from the hooves up.