44: Blade Elliott – A Cowboy at Heart


When you think of Alabama you probably don’t think lumberjacks and bareback riders. Yet Blade Elliott brings all three to mind.

On the surface it makes about as much sense as the Crimson’s Tide’s mascot being an elephant. Or the Auburn football team’s battle cry, “We are the Tigers who say War Eagle!”

Ask Blade Elliott and he’ll tell you it makes perfect sense. He grew up in a logging family. In fact lumbering is a major industry in Alabama.

Rodeo, not so much.

But in this episode he explains what led him down this unusual path. And how he was able to find the coaching and mentoring needed to become one of Professional Rough Stock’s top five bareback riders.

It goes to show, it’s never a matter of where you’re from, it’s where you’re going that counts.

Master Motto:

“Go ‘Billy’ on him!” – Blade’s dad referring to the all-out aggressive style of Mississippi bareback rider Billy Blisset.
“Those that say they can, and those that say they can’t, are both right.” – Henry Ford

Worst Day (Buck off moment):

The day he lost his best friend in high school and fellow rodeo competitor TJ McKinney to a car accident. Today, there’s a memorial rodeo held every year in Blade’s hometown to honor TJ and Blade rides in the event.

Best Day (90 pt. Moment):

Blade was at a small pro rodeo in Carthage, Texas. It was 2011. His parents allowed him to take his younger brother, Sawyer, age 14, to the rodeo for a little brother-to-brother bonding time. Blade drew a wild NFR horse, named Cool Water. The toughest horse in the pen by far.

His fellow competitors thought he was crazy for not declining the horse. But Blade knelt on the ground and visualized what the ride would be like. And when the chute gate opened, well, let’s just say, it was a wild ride!

Final Score – (Legacy you want to leave us with):

Blade is all about being a role model and helping the bareback riders, expecially in the SE United States, to succeed. He credits a closer faith in God with helping him maintain a better focus and to have a more fulfilling and joyful life.

Success Habits:

Maintaining a strict workout schedule to stay physically fit.
Putting God first. “Then whatever comes second will be no problem.”

Things you may not know about Blade:

He was named Blade because his dad is a 3rd generation logger.
He has a brother named Sawyer who works in the lumber business.
Blade’s hometown of Centerville has 3 stoplights.
Blade was in the FFA as a youngster, competing in forestry.
Blade’s first rodeo experience came on a flanked quarter horse using nothing but a bull rope.
Blade has a degree in physical education and strength coaching from the University of West Alabama.
He loves bass fishing. He calls it “wrist rehab.”
One of Blade’s heroes is Derek Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

Links to things mentioned in this episode:

  Derek Rose video on YouTube

43: Tyrell Smith – It Isn’t Greek to Me


Tyrell Smith is a 2-time PRS World Finals qualifier and an NFR qualifier and round winner (2012). He grew up on a ranch in central Montana near Cascade, surrounded by mountains. Having been around livestock and rodeo his entire life it was little wonder that he would gravitate to that sport. But even though he was born into a life destined for rodeo and free from the fear of the extreme nature of the sport, it was the sport itself that taught him some important lessons about life and maturing.

In this episode Tyrell talks about his rodeo career that actually began riding bulls. Then, after repeated injury, he moved back into an event that he had competed in during high school, The more “poetic” event, as he puts it, saddle bronc.[Read more…]

42: The Bad Draw Blues – Rough Stock University


In Pro Rough Stock half of your score comes from the animal you ride. The animal you ride is determined by random draw. In the PRS extra effort is made to ensure that every rider can draw an animal on which they can win. But not all animals are equal. So in this Rough Stock University edition of MOTR, Kelly Timberman gives us strategies for avoiding the bad draw blues.[Read more…]

41: Ryan Rodewald – Cleared for Takeoff


Ryan Rodewald may be the only saddle bronc rider in the U.S. who is also a commercial jet captain. Certainly he’s the only Pro Rough Stock event champion to carry both titles. In this episode we learn how Ryan got into saddle bronc riding and then made his way into the wild blue yonder as a commercial airline captain.[Read more…]

40: Cole Elshere – Lights… camera… Casey Tibbs!


Cole Elshere is about to embark on a different kind of journey. Not one that last eight seconds. This one could last a lot longer. He has been cast to portray legendary saddle bronc rider Casey Tibbs.

The two do have a lot a common. They are talented bronc riders. They are both from South Dakota. And they know a bit about bright lights. Cole grew up in Faith and Casey was from Ft. Pierre, about 60 miles away. Tibbs had a career in the movies, and Cole has been under the modern bright lights of rodeo at the WNFR and PRS World Finals.[Read more…]

39: How The World Finals Works – Rough Stock University


The 2014 PRS World Finals are soon to begin. Rough Stock Bowl III is set for Rapid City, SD’s Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. And there are a few changes to this year’s format. In this episode of Rough Stock University Kelly Timberman outlines just exactly how the Rough Stock Bowl III works.

He’ll let us in on how the qualification process takes place for the riders. Also, he’ll touch on the livestock that will be invited. Finally, Kelly will dive into how the points are calculated to determine the season champion.[Read more…]

38: Isaac Diaz – From the Land of Orange Juice and Sunshine


There are a lot of things about Isaac Diaz that are not typical for a saddle bronc rider. For one thing, he grew up in Florida, not exactly a state known for rodeo. As he was learning the craft his mentor, Uncle Fletch, told him he wasn’t a “natural at the sport.” Isaac simply took that to mean he’d have to try a bit harder to get good at it, something he had the passion to do. Today, he’s a multi-time winner in the PRS, a 4-time WNFR qualifier and he’s about to compete in his first Rough Stock Bowl, the 2014 PRS World Finals.[Read more…]

36: Curtis Garton – New Zealand Dreams


Curtis Garton grew up on a dairy farm near Kaitaia, New Zealand, in a part of his country they call the Northland. He credits his dad’s example of hard work and perservance as key to his success. His family was also a rodeo family as his dad rode all three rough stock events. But in this episode, we find out that rodeo in New Zealand is just a bit different than rodeo in the United States. We’ll also find out how this saddle bronc rider got from New Zealand to a career in the U.S. And, we’ll hear what happens after this bronc rider dozes off at night, which gives us a keen insight into the mind of a bronc rider.[Read more…]

35: Brian Bain – Re-inventing the “Man in the Mirror”


Brian Bane has always been an inventor at heart. Which, it turns out, came in handy when it came time for him to re-invent himself on the way to the top of the PRS World Standings.

Being a bareback rider was the last thing that Brian Bane’s father wanted his son to do. And that’s coming from a man who raises bucking horses and is a well-known Pacific Northwest stock contractor. Today Mr. Bain is his son’s biggest fan. In this episode we’ll learn how an almost secret trip to Las Vegas and a lot of determination led to that transformation.[Read more…]