Roper Review: Scott Stickley
There are a few professions, besides rodeo, that require driving many miles and spending time away from home. One of those occupations is a sales […]
Mindy Elrod, from Sanger, Texas, competes in the breakaway roping in the IPRA. “My dad trains horses so I started roping when I was five or six,” said the 33-year-old who lives in north central Texas. Mindy competes in barrel racing as well, and has two prospects in training so she can compete next year. She also team ropes, but hasn’t competed since 2005. “I did all of it in high school,” she said. “I’ll probably start back with the World Series Ropings.” Mindy grew up in Oklahoma. Her family moved to north Texas when she was 13. “My dad (Jess) college rodeoed at Southeast Oklahoma and trains roping and calf roping horses and some reined cow horses (Elrodquarterhorses.com). He shows in the AQHA shows. Fortunately I’ve been blessed to have good horses and someone that can fix them.” Jess was an NIRA finalist and a college rodeo champion, and has trained and shown more than ten World Champions and more than 27 Reserve Champions in roping classes. Her mom, Sheryl, works at a bank, and was an Oklahoma high school rodeo finals qualifier in 1975-76 and World Show Qualifier in 1991-92. Jess and Sheryl started Elrod Quarter Horses right about the time they married, around 1980. They’ve become the best of partners, offering exceptional training, breeding and showing opportunities for the world’s best performance horses.
Mindy won the Breakaway Championship for Texas State High School Rodeo her sophomore year (1997), and won the Windy Ryan twice, second once. “I took a break for the past ten years – I’d rope for about two or three weeks and rope in the Ryan,” she said. “I had some life changes and started rodeoing again last year; my goal was to make the UPRA Finals.” She ended up winning it, as well as the average at the CPRA Finals. She didn’t buy her IPRA card until late in the season, but her plans are to make the IFR this year. “I just barely missed the finals last year, but I plan to be there this year.” She is entering the weekly sanctioned rodeo in Fort Worth at the stock yards.
She credits her parents for helping her attain her rodeo goals. “My parents work hard and taught me everything I know. I have never wanted for anything and have been fortunate to have good horses and help right here at home that most kids didn’t have.” Mindy has watched competition get tougher over the years. “You have to be mounted and you and your horse have to be sharp.” She has trained herself to be sharp by lots of practice. “It’s reaction. You practice until you get everything down to reaction and mind control. It has to be instinct. The past two or three weekends, I’ve gotten away from that and overthought things. You have to take the first shot that you have. You can’t let things outside the arena affect what you do inside the arena.”
Even though Mindy qualified for the National High School Finals, she never went. Instead, she went to college at Texas Women’s University in Denton and ended up with a degree in business administration education and a minor in science. She teaches high school at South Lake Carrol. Her class, Principles of Information technology, teaches all of Microsoft Office. “I teach six classes, three each day.”
Her goals for this year include the IFR, the UPRA Finals and the CPRA Finals. “I also hope to have two barrel horses going for next year (2015). You don’t know what life has to offer unless you take that leap of faith.”
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