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.
“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.
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.