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Chad Masters can’t remember a time when he didn’t rope. He does recall that he was about five years old when started roping horseback. Chad grew up in Clarksville, Tennessee where his dad, Bobby, a Pepsi executive, trained calf horses and his mom, Debbie, worked at the post office. Chad was a breakaway roper until he was about nine, when Harold Travis moved to the area and introduced them to team roping.
Chad spent much of his youth horseback, roping and helping his dad train colts. Consequently, he excelled in high school rodeo claiming the Tennessee team roping championship from ’96-’99; and tie down championship from ’98-’99. After high school Chad started going to IPRA rodeos. It was at an IPRA rodeo that he met Frankie McCleer and was offered an opportunity to head at pro rodeos.
This partnership was the start of Chad’s professional rodeo career. For the next couple of years Chad roped with several different partners before qualifying for the NFR with Michael Jones when he was 22.
Now, with two gold buckles and over $1.7 million in career earnings, Chad is able to put his success into perspective.
“It’s a privilege to be a world champion, but there are also so many guys going who deserve to win the world,” explains Chad. “At this level, where everyone ropes so well, everything has to line up just right to be successful.”
Chad won his titles in 2006 and 2012. Both championships were won with heelers that were not his partners, which can be a bittersweet victory.
In 2013, at the Timed Event Championships, Masters severely injured his leg during the Bulldogging.
“Basically my left ankle touched my left hip. One ligament and skin were holding my leg on,” says Chad. “That happened in March and I cracked back out at Reno Rodeo in June. Subconsciously I was worried about the barrier catching my leg that year and I just didn’t rope well. It was a tough year.”
Chad has qualified for the NFR ten times, and at 36, hasn’t yet decided how long he plans to rodeo professionally. He owns a 120-acre ranch in Lipan, Texas, and is preparing to build a covered arena.
“I enjoy training horses, sometimes to the detriment of my rodeo career,” says Chad. “When your first priority is your horse, sometimes it’s hard to quit “training” and just go for it. It takes a conscious effort.”
Chad is one of the most well liked team ropers in the PRCA due to his friendly and positive attitude.
How much do you practice?
When I’m at home and training horses, I usually ride six to eight horses a day and run about 50 steers between them.
Do you make your own horses?
Sometimes. I was lucky at the beginning, the first three or four we had trained. Since then I’ve bought a few and also made some.
Who were your roping heroes growing up?
Speed Williams and Kevin Stewart.
Who do you respect most in the world?
Clay Cooper. I’ve learned a lot from him.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My dad. He’s hard working and always believes in me.
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
Take a vacation, maybe go to the beach.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Hard working, easygoing, friendly.
What makes you happy?
Friends, family, and horses.
What makes you angry?
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
Buy a place in Tennessee.
What is your worst quality – your best?
My worst quality is indecisiveness. My best quality is my work ethic.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I would like to be in Tennessee training horses with a family.
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