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RMPRA Meet the Member: Ritchie FarnsworthMeet the Member
story by Terry Rhodes
Keeping a positive mental attitude is essential in everyday life, even more important when your passion is riding 2,000 pounds of negative bovine attitude. That’s what RMPRA member Ritchie Farnsworth believes and he makes an effort to keep his mind right. “I went to four of Gary Leffew’s bull riding schools and that’s where I have learned the most. He’s very big on teaching you to keep a positive mental attitude. I went from making two rides in my freshman year to qualifying for High School Nationals in my junior and senior years. I was able to apply what he was teaching and make it all work for me.” Ritchie has a never give up attitude and believes in the adage that, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
Ritchie competes in the bull riding and has been in the Rocky Mountain association since its inception several years ago. “I like the association because all their rodeos are local and not a lot of travel is involved. You’re around good people, both the contestants and the stock contractors are really good to work with. I would like to say ‘thanks’ to the association for putting on all the rodeos, I know that’s a big job, and I appreciate what they do.” Ritchie also competes in the PRCA.
He started making his way towards bull riding and rodeo at the tender age of 4. “My Grandpa owned a dairy farm where I could get on calves. And things just took off from there. I did some junior rodeo and I competed in high school rodeo. After high school I went into the Rocky Mountain association and started traveling to some PRCA rodeos.”
Keeping a clear head and not over thinking the ride is how Ritchie gets himself prepared to ride. “I don’t do as well if I try to think too much about what I want to do. I do better if I just take a deep breath, and go out and try to ride him. I do keep a positive attitude and try hard on every bull and I always want to win.” Outside the arena Ritchie keeps in shape and practices on the drop barrel and gets on practice bulls every chance he gets. “…and I like to fight bulls to keep sharp.”
The 25-year-old bull rider makes his home in Roosevelt, Utah and has a 3-year-old daughter, Ridley. His parents are Les and Monica and he has two brothers and a sister. “I’m the only one in the family to rodeo.” He says that he has had a lot of support in his rodeo career. “My parents have always helped me get down the road and been there for me. But there are a lot of friends and family that have been good about helping me out. I don’t think I could say just one person is the most important; they’re all important.”
During the week Ritchie works in the oil fields as a roustabout. “Most of the time I service the all of the pumping units, change oil, and repair anything that’s broken.” Leisure time is spent with his daughter and hanging out with friends and family. Goals are to make rodeo a full time job and make the NFR.