American Hat Presents Daniel Miranda

by Siri Stevens

Daniel became an American Hat ambassador his 8th grade year at Nationals. “I went to their booth to get a new straw hat,” he said. Daniel has been wearing an American hat since he was 8. “As soon as I could wear a good hat, it was an American.” He met Keith Mundee, who gave him the hat and asked Daniel to join the Ambassador team for American Hat. “That was five years ago, and I’m still doing it. It’s grown to be a family now, which is super awesome. The people there are amazing.”

Daniel Miranda is a freshman at Cal Poly. The native from Maui had his eyes set on Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which has a strong rodeo team and a school of agriculture. “The schooling is great here in California; it’s good competition but it’s about getting the degree first.” Daniel plans to pursue a degree in Ag systems management. “It’s close in line with getting an engineering degree but not the ridiculous math and having fun with everything else,” said the 19-year-old who ended his first sememster with a 3.1 and is currently leading the California ciruit in the tie down roping. His degree will help him learn about Animal Science irrigation management.
His father, Ken Miranda, is the general manager for Kaonoulu Ranch, and Daniel is a seventh generation family member on the ranch, through his mother, Morag, and the Rice family. He grew up with a rope in his hand. “I started roping as soon as I could hold the string to rope the cowboy toy,” he said. “Then I graduated to roping my three sisters (Elizabeth, 15; Rebecca, 27; Megan, 31). I remember some nights my youngest sister would run around the house and I’d rope her – I did that when my parents were gone of course.” Through a close family friend, Peter Baldwin, the Miranda’s were able to grow their Corriente herd. “We have around 200 momma cows now,” said Daniel. “We have three places we put ropings.”
Daniel went through the junior high and high school rodeo, making the trip to the mainland each summer to attend Nationals. Transporting horses from Maui to the mainland is nothing new to the Miranda family – they ship horses from island to island all the time. “My 8th grade year, I sent my horse, Allen, up to the Junior High finals in South Dakota. I calf roped, ribbon roped and goat tied, my team roping partner headed on him too. Allen made the 12-hour boat ride from Maui to the main island, then five hours by plane from O’ahu to Las Angeles, followed by a 22 hour drive to South Dakota.” Horses are quarantined upon arrival back to Hawaii. “Hawaii doesn’t have any major diseases, so it’s just coming back home when they have to be quarantined for a month and a half.” The cost is around $3,000 a horse to transport from Hawaii to South Dakota.
Along with the rodeo team, he is also part of the polo team. “All plans change, that’s why you have a plan, but my plan right now would be to graduate from Cal Poly and if I’ve got the support through my rodeo sponsors that I’ve acquired the past couple of years and my family up here and my family in California — I’d like to go try some pro rodeos a little bit.”

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