Lari Dee Guy
Written by: Lily Weinacht< Back to Articles
“I just feel that roping has come so far since I was a kid. I feel that people have gotten so many opportunities with videos and schools and tools like the Heel-O-Matic, and horsemanship has come so far. We as older competitors have even evolved. I learn as much from the younger guys as they learn from us, and it’s really cool to see the sport evolve,” says Lari Dee Guy.
A rodeo household name with numerous world titles to her credit, including 2018 WPRA World Champion Header, her mark on the evolution of roping has particularly inspired women ropers of all ages. Born in 1971, Lari Dee grew up roping and working on her family’s ranch in Abilene, Texas, where she still lives today. Her family taught her that challenges were meant to be overcome, not turned away from, and one of Lari Dee’s first challenges was learning to rope right handed, even though she was left handed. By the time she started college rodeoing, where Lari Dee won the breakaway roping twice at the CNFR, she also had 11 consecutive world titles in the AJRA. Her passion for roping was infectious, and she started putting on roping clinics while she was still in college. Since then, she has taught worldwide, along with sharing the Rope Like a Girl motto and all it stands for, which took root in 2013. “Two young women, Chelsea Shaffer and Kari DeCastro, approached me with that hashtag and asked if I could make Rope Like a Girl cool. I thought of how many young girls that it could touch, and women in the industry. The idea was really theirs, and I helped them put the roping behind it.”
5 Star Equine, which has endorsed Lari Dee for the last 5 or 6 years, also helps spread Rope Like a Girl, which can be stitched on their saddle pads, halters, and cinches. “Every time I see a 5 Star pad, I look to see if there’s a little girl roping on it, and if it says Rope Like a Girl. When I do see that, it makes me feel good that people believe in that,” says Lari Dee. She started using 5 Star pads around 2010, drawn to the quality and durability of their products. “I feel that is the very best felt and wool pad in the industry, and I love the way they breathe. I love the pads, but what turned me on to the company is the people who own it. I met Terry and Julia Moore at the WPRA finals one year, and we became like family right away. They’re a very great Christian family, and that’s what drew me to their company.”
5 Star Equine also sponsors custom pads for Lari Dee’s Rafter L Roping Finals, which she put on in October in San Angelo, Texas. Additionally, she puts on several ropings in conjunction with Cody Ohl’s Ultimate Calf Ropings, and continues to teach 10 schools a year, along with training horses and competing. “I’m a pretty organized kind of person, so I put on the calendar the most important places I want to attend, and I try to leave time during the week to ride the young horses and train, and then I try to be gone on weekends. I try to get most of my young horses ridden in the summer, and coming into the fall and winter, I try to focus on teaching and my finals. I also have a girl, Megan White, who really helps me out and keeps me organized, and Logan Harkey takes in horses for himself and he’s in there to help us with anything we need. Hope Thompson helps me do the schools, and here at the ranch riding horses and giving lessons. I live on my family’s ranch, and all the things a person could take for granted, they provide, like the calves and steers and feed. Having all that is a blessing.”
Another blessing came in the form of Lari Dee’s horse Gangster, who came back into competition this May after she thought he was permanently retired. “He’d been turned out for two years and had torn his deep flexor tendon twice, and I thought he was never going to come back,” says Lari Dee. “Doctor Brock out of Lamesa, Texas, and my local vet, Doctor Paul Patton, did surgery on him, and he came back really good and I’ve been competing on him in the breakaway. I bought another young horse to help back him up, Primo, from Jessica Gray out of Florida, and in team roping I’ve been riding a horse that belongs to Trevor Brazile, named Sabrina.
“My first love is roping calves, but I have really grown to love team roping because it’s brought lots of horse sales and it gives women the opportunity to make money roping. I think that rodeo in general is really growing and getting good for women ropers. The American is giving us a big stage to step on, and the WRCA has given us a big stage. It’s all because of the people and women who have worked so hard to get it where it is now,” Lari Dee explains. “My goals are to stay at the top of my game and stay focused, and try to do and be a part of everything that’s happening out there.”