Rodeo is really fun,” states nine-year-old Pecos Tatum. “The harder you practice and the more you do, the more it pays off!” The young cowboy […]
On The Trail with Quincy Sullivan and Luis Mendiaz
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Quincy Sullivan is the second girl to ever win the National High School Finals in team roping..Brend Youtsey Reay was the first in 1986. The odds were totally against Quincy Sullivan and Luis Mendiaz, team ropers from New Mexico, that won the National High School Team Roping title for 2020. The last New Mexico high school rodeo was in October, 2019. 17 year old heeler, Luis Mendiaz, from Santa Fe, ended the fall season in 5th place. Header Quincy Sullivan, age 16, was in 6th place. The New Mexico first place team was unable to go to Nationals, and Luis was next in line. When his header couldn’t go Quincy was next in line. Quincy and Luis had only roped together once before making the trip to the National High School Finals in Guthrie, Oklahoma. “We each drove 80 miles to rope together before heading to the Finals,” explained Quincy.
“In the first round, we did pretty good,” she continued. “I didn’t rope the first one as good as I should and we ended up 8th in the round. The second round we drew a stronger steer – Luis pulled off an incredible heel shot!” In the short go, which eliminated all earlier scores, there were four teams ahead of Quincy and Luis, including another New Mexico team. Quincy continued: “I really didn’t think we were as fast as we were. But we did it in 9 seconds and took the lead.” After the first place team missed. —– We won it!”
Quincy grew up in rodeo, both parents competed. She began by competing in all events – barrels, poles, goat tying, team roping and breakaway. Finally settling on team roping and breakaway roping. She works every day on her events. “I have 15 horses now and I ride them all. My head horse, Hondo, is amazing. He tries his hardest every time and even if a steer is slow or fast, he’s solid. My dad’s team roping partner sold him to us, and he’s worth every penny we paid for him,” she proudly reported, adding: “I hang out with the boys more, because most of the girls don’t rope as much as I do. I’m not your average high school girl.” She will be team roping with Hadley Oder this year and Luis is team roping with her cousin, Weslynn Reno.
With two more years of high school, Quincy is setting her sights on Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. “I want to be a lawyer,” she explained. “I took mock trial last year in school and really enjoyed it. I’m pretty passionate about it!” She is also running for president of the student council at her school which has 100 students. She added, “I want to make some changes to our school and have a voice.”
When Quincy was in the 7th and 8th grades she qualified in both the team roping and breakaway roping for Junior High National Finals. She has made the National High School Finals both her freshman year and this past year in both events again. She also qualified for the Junior World finals last year in both the ’15 and under’ as well as the ‘19 and under’ breakaway roping. She won the ’15 and under breakaway roping’.
Quincy’s mother, Shacey, grew up in rodeo, competing in speed and roping events in high school. She said of daughter, Quincy, “She works hard at her rodeo events and I’m glad she’s getting recognition for it.” Quincy’s dad, Russell, competed in calf roping and team roping in high school and won 2nd in team roping as a heeler. He went to the college finals in both events from 1996 through 1999.
Heeler, Luis Mendiaz, rode a quarter horse, Sus Beetle, his dad’s friend sold him. He’s a head and heel horse. “I won a truck on him heeling. He’s a good horse,” said Luis. He let’s his dad drive the Dodge Ram truck he won because it is standard shift. Luis admits he’s not good driving a standard shift vehicle. “My dad works construction, and didn’t rodeo until he came to New Mexico in 1999 and started watching roping. He began roping in 2005. He taught me to rope.” In 2010 his dad roped in the USTRC Finals at Guthrie and Luis watched him win 10th place in the #8 Division. “I like to rope the dummy during the day, before I practice on my horse,” Luis explained. His parents don’t speak English but we asked him to ask his mother how she felt about her son winning the world. He said, “She feels really happy for me and for her – that she had a son that won the world and how far I’ve gone in roping.” Luis will be a senior and when he finished he plans to go to college and learn to shoe horses. He said, “I want to thank my parents for supporting me and Quincy and her family.”
Quincy, with the support and rodeo experience from her parents, and the fact that Luis has his dad’s roping history to aid him, and with their hard work and determination we are sure tol continue to hear about their successes in the arena for years to come.