Winning the BFI last year and getting Montana Silversmiths Heel Horse of the BFI helped my confidence a lot. It proved I’m where I belong, as far as my talent, and eliminated the question of whether my horse is good enough. Rodeoing is so up and down, it can be hard on a guy from time to time. To this day, winning that roping has kept my thinking positive. I have earned the most coveted title in jackpotting history; the daddy of all jackpots. That win will go down with Shooter and me until the day we die.
For this year’s BFI, I’ve just tried to stay really sharp and rested. Living in Arizona lets me jackpot a lot when I’m home. And I’ve had the time to give Shooter the break he deserves. I’m excited to rodeo and enter the BFI with Chase Massengill this year. He’s a great guy and ropes phenomenal. Where the BFI’s concerned, he’s very smart, catches a lot of steers and has extremely good horses. This year, having Chase as a partner and riding the reigning Montana Silversmiths Heel Horse of the BFI, I feel as prepared as anybody.
Shooter’s so good because he was started as a working cow horse before Tanner Baldwin did a great job training him. Now I’ve had him four years; he’s 12 years old and has gotten more consistent. He’s just so honest, he never looks for a way out. There have been times when he misread the play at a rodeo or jackpot, but I can’t remember a single time driving home thinking he ever cost me, ever. It’s awesome to have that in the back of my head – my horse is a great team player.
I would like to have another successful BFI. It really helps with traveling the rest of the year! My girlfriend, Jackie Ganter, has been to the Finals twice now and has helped me plan my travel schedule. With the help of her and her mom, Angela, and my family back home, I really have a great support team. Susan Siggins and my dad, Ray, have had the best interest for me from day one, so I can’t thank them enough. And my two great friends John Thompson at Thompson Carriers and Brian Tarla with Triple T Machining…honestly in 2020 none of this would be possible.
By: Julie Mankin