Malcom Heathershaw will spend the next few months healing up from breaking both bones (ulna and radius) in his left arm. “I drew a pretty […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Shawn Minor has claimed the All Around title for the International Pro Rodeo Association for seven years and will make 2012 his eighth. “Sheer determination,” the 37-year-old said of his success. “I really don’t ever set out to win the All Around – I make my living with rodeo and wherever that leads me at the end of the year is where my goal ends. Every time I ride I try to do the best I can and if I do my job, then I win titles.” He loves getting on good horses. “I figure as long as I can do it and still win, and love doing it, why quit?”
Shawn competes in bareback and saddle bronc riding. He rode bulls when he was young and could never get off right. “I always lit on my head or got stomped or hooked and I figured they looked a lot better on my plate.” He team roped and tripped, and never roped calves because he was left handed. “I’m going to start adding that to my entries as soon as I find a good little horse. I’ve got some colts that I raised that have the potential, so when they’re ready, I’ll start.”
Shawn grew up in Gordon, Neb., ranching. His dad, Steve Dent, still ranches in Mullen, Neb. “He was a great bronc rider and raised two bareback riders – both myself and my brother, Steve, who made his fifth trip to the WNFR.” Steve went into the 2012 WNFR in the second position in Bareback Riding and second in the All Around behind Trevor Brazile.
He got on his first bareback horses when he was 12 with a mane and tail hold, no riggin. “I held on to the mane with one hand and the tail with the other. I got drilled. I got on with a riggin when I was 13. I’ve been around rodeo my whole life from playing behind the chutes – I was never a bleacher kid. I would ride some pretty bad old broncs on somebody’s bronc saddle in the dirt. After the rodeo if we stuck around, we’d get in the chutes and open the gate and run around and kick like a bucking horse.”
He high school rodeoed in Nebraska, winning four state championships in the bareback three times and the saddle bronc once. He college rodeoed winning the all around in the Central Plains in 1997. Shawn went to college in Snyder, Texas, for two years and then transferred to Weatherford, Okla., for two years. He lived there and rodeod for six years. Shawn’s professional rodeo career began in 1994. “I bought my PRCA permit in 1995, filled it and bought my card in 1996. I bought my first IPRA card in 2003. We went to the bucking horse sale and I watched Cord McCoy win $7,000 in one night and decided to buy my card and give it a try. It’s been good ever since.”
He met his wife, Tara, in Huntsville, Ala., in 2004, and they have three children, Tate, 5, Kole, 7, and Trayli, 18. She is a stay-at-home mom and supplements the family income by training barrel racing horses. “She’s my best friend – really. We do everything together – it just works. About five minutes after I met her, I knew she was it. It wasn’t very long – a couple months.”
Shawn takes his family with him as much as possible, but now that the boys are in school, they don’t go as much. “The boys have been riding steers at every one of the rodeos we go to and it’s a great crowd pleaser. I think about the future of rodeo and I’m proud that they are following in my footsteps.” They have considered home schooling, but feel the boys need the interaction with the kids in school and the structure of a school setting. “If they can’t skin out and go, I’ll drive all night and get back. Their education is more important than me rodeoeing. As far as getting the bills paid, I have to go. Tara’s mom and dad watch them for us when we’re gone for long times – like St. Tite – when we’re gone for 10 days.” Shawn has traveled all over the US and Canada and St. Tite is his favorite rodeo. “As far as an atmosphere, that rodeo is one of the greatest things – the crowd is so wild and loud – it’s just awesome. You can’t understand a word they say, but it’s a lot of fun. The stock contractors bring their best stock and it’s a riding contest with lots of added money.” He puts his runs together about every two weeks. “I’ll look at the schedule and a map and decide where to go. In June, July and August you can go to one every day. I just look and put a run together. I do a lot of it by added money and some of the smaller ones, I’m looking for the stock I want to get on.”
Shawn added a PRCA card to his list this year. “I won a few checks here and there, but I was going to have to be gone and leave my kids – I don’t want to miss anything with my boys, so I put it aside. I’m back home riding colts during the week and go on the weekend. My priorities have changed a lot. Through the week, we get up, get the boys to school, feed, wait for the horses to get done and go to ride. We pick the boys up and the activities start – we are either riding, hunting, or practicing on the miniature Zebu bucking bull and sometimes we have to have a little rodeo here at the house.” Riding colts and chasing after his boys keeps Shawn in good shape. “We’ve got six horses we’re riding right now. I’ve got some outside customers and we’ve got some of our own that keep me pretty busy.”
Shawn lives in Camden, Ohio. “This is where my wife was born and raised and her parents live about a mile from us. We’ve lived here for about ten years but we’re hoping to move someday where the boys can rodeo throughout the year. So that probably means Oklahoma.” Shawn makes the most of the colder temperatures with his welding. “I have just about every tool in a welding shop you can imagine so I do some of that. I’ve made everything from Xray welds on gas lines to building lamps out of horse shoes. I always have something to fall back on.” When he is done rodeoing, he is thinking about doing some pick up work and doing some schools. “I would really love to be a rodeo coach,” he concluded.