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NSPRA Meet the Member Jerry Means
Meet the Member
story by Terry Rhodes
NSPRA member Jerry Means has been in the association for the last five years and likes the group for the friendships that he has made over the years. It also gives him a place to compete on an even playing field with people his own age. He says that he gets to between 12 and 15 of the rodeos each year. He competes in calf roping and in the team roping he heels.
He got his start in rodeo while growing up in the ranching country around Gillette, Wyoming. “I did compete in Little Britches for one year when I was a kid. But I didn’t do anything else until I was in my early 30’s. I was always involved in ranching and horses. It was in the early ‘80s when a friend of mine got me started roping calves and I loved it. We started roping calves in an indoor barn where we team roped. I roped calves for about four years and then the company that I worked for moved out to California so I hung it up for about 20 years. I just started back roping about seven years ago.”
He says that his grandfather and his uncles were big influences to him. “My grandfather, Montie Means, was
probably my greatest influence because he could always put things into perspective and had positive things to say. I have two uncles, Bob and Jerry Means, who were involved putting on NSPRA rodeos in the early 80’s. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun and from watching them I looked forward to competing in the NSPRA. I feel very fortunate to have met my current team roping partner, Jesse Marshall Jr. He’s 81 and an inspiration.”
Jerry 61, is all business when it’s time to compete and he has confidence that he has done his preparation for himself and his horses. “When I get in the box, I make sure they’re standing square and balanced and nod my head. When I show up, I show up to rope, and I do my best.” Just to be sure that everything is right, he’ll make sure he’s got the correct shirt on. “If I have a good run on one day, I’ll wear that same shirt for the next run. That’s about it.”
He knows the importance of having an equine partner he can count on and he spends a lot time training to get them just right. “The horse that I calf rope on now I call him Rat, he’s a little bay roan. He’s been working really exceptional and several people have inquired about buying him, so he must be coming along pretty well. He’s a Doc Bar and Peppy San Badger bred horse.” For team roping he uses a Doc O’lena and Doc Bar bred horse. “Now that my horses are doing well I need to step up my roping.”
Jerry and his wife, Kathie have been married for 38 years and have five grown children. “Four of them completed their college degrees and are married and my youngest is in chiropractic school in Portland, Oregon. Not one of them competed in rodeo. All five kids played several sports through high school, two of the girls competed in college volleyball and both boys played college baseball. They were all good athletes.” Kathie travels with Jerry to his rodeos and ropings to take photos and supply the much needed coaching and critiques.
During the week Jerry stays busy at his place keeping things ready for the college kids that keep their horses with him. “They come out and use my facilities to come practice in.” Leisure time when it can found is spent relaxing on the golf course. Goals for the future are to do exactly what he’s doing now, “Going to Senior Pro Rodeos, team roping, and playing golf.”