Sterling Gehrke does not believe in doing anything by halves, especially rodeo. “I’m a really competitive person, and I don’t like to lose,” explained the […]
Written by: Lily Landreth< Back to Articles
Tristan Mahoney has been rodeoing with the GCPRA since he was 16. In 2013, the 23-year-old had his first big win with the association, coming home the GCPRA Calf Roping Champion. The tradition of rodeo in Tristan’s family runs back to his grandfather, Hollis Fuchs, a cowboy with one leg and a heart for team roping. Both Tristan’s parents, Kent and Becky Mahoney, have competed extensively in rodeo and seen great success in the sport. “They’re the ones that got me into it (rodeo) and taught me everything,” says Tristan. Another influential person in Tristan’s life is Gordy Alderson, a bit and spur maker from Tucson. “He’s helped me along the way and given me a lot of advice,” Tristan says. In addition to calf roping, he also competes in team roping as a heeler in the incentive. He also competed in steer wrestling during college rodeo, but gave the event up when he injured his knee.
Tristan was born and raised in Arizona and currently makes his home in Florence. He works in his family’s real estate business with his dad and grandpa. He is showing houses and building up a clientele of his own, and in the last four or five months, he has spent a large portion of his time remodeling a house that he bought in Florence. “It was a total remodel,” Tristan explains. “I figured it out as I went, and a lot of people helped me and showed me how to different things. I’m going to sell it before too long and try to get a place with my own arena.”
In the meantime, Tristan keeps his horses on his family’s ten acres and uses their arena. His calf roping horse is Ollie, an American Quarter Horse who started out a reiner but found his niche in rodeo. Tristan trained him for roping and seasoned the gelding that has now been his mount for five years. Tristan has always trained his own horses, and the ones that don’t fit him for rodeo are sold. Currently Tristan is starting a new bunch of colts, having recently sold several that he finished.
Prior to his work in real estate, Tristan attended Central Arizona College (CAC) where he graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. What he especially had his eye on, however, was college rodeo, which he competed in during his two years at CAC. “I didn’t have a lot of luck,” says Tristan. “I just missed the college finals and I hurt my knee bull dogging my sophomore year.” While success in college rodeo was hard to pin down, Tristan has had better achievements in circuit rodeo. During the summer, he rodeos in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington on the Columbia River Circuit. “You try to hold your money together, and when it runs out, you come home!” Tristan explains. Other activities that he enjoys include spending a hot summer day at the river or the lake, but roping is what his lifestyle revolves around. One his favorite rodeos in the GCPRA is the Wilcox Rodeo, and he often competes at his best at the Cave Creek Rodeo, which is on the Turquoise Circuit.
Feeling optimistic, Tristan describes his goals for the near future. “I’d like to repeat and win the Grand Canyon (calf roping) again, and I’d also like to win the circuit finals and make it to the Dodge Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo. I’m going to get these horses finished, put a little money together in the next few years, and make a run at the Wrangler National Finals.”