On the Friday before Thanksgiving in 2015, Cody Thornton was in the roping pen training an outside horse. He had already headed ten steers and […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Zach Dicken is the bareback riding director for the TCRA. “My job will be to raise money for sponsorships and coordinate the stock – just make sure things are running smoothly on my end,” said the fire fighter from Lubbock, Texas. “I work for Lubbock Fire and Rescue and am a full time horse shoer on my days off.” After college, he went to Fire Academy and back to the EMT school. He got hired on his first attempt and has been working there for five years. “Lubbock has a really good fire department. We have a good city council; our pay is good, our equipment is good, and everyone is really behind us. We are are really blessed here in Lubbock.”
He goes to amateur rodeos in the summer; between work, shoeing, and rodeo, he is not around much in the summer. The 31 year old has been riding barebacks for a long time. “I started when I was 14,” he said. “I’ve got a bad wrist and a bad back, but other than that, I’m good to go.” He made the National High School Finals twice, in 1999, and again in his senior year, 2001. He went to college and qualified for the Playoffs, and broke his wrist, and missed the college finals. “I was pretty hurt through college so I never got anything done,” he said. He graduated with a degree in Wildlife Biology and Animal Science from Texas Tech, after going to Vernon for two years.
His rodeo career began in east Texas, and he entered the high school and UPRA rodeos. “I wanted to rope calves; I told my dad that, and he came home the next day with a bareback riggin’. He said that was a lot cheaper than a rope horse.” His dad, Dwayne Dicken, is a farrier and firefighter back home in Merit, Texas. Zach is married to Amber – they have been married five years in September. She is a school teacher and got introduced to horses through Zach. The couple has two horses and she rides around the place. “No rodeos are in her future which is good because I probably couldn’t afford it,” he said.
Zach is hoping to win the TCRA this year – he was leading going into the Finals last year and didn’t have the Finals he wanted to have. He has always stuck close to home to rodeo. “If I could have stayed a little more healthy, I would have really liked to go rodeo – I stayed close to the house and I wish I would have traveled a little. I always had to work – and couldn’t leave my shoeing business to go down the road.”
He and his wife are building a house on a piece of land they bought. He is going to work his way through the Fire department by taking his Equipment Operator test and then think about starting a family. “If my kids want to rodeo, then we’ll take them.”