Meet the Member Alex Caudle

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Alex Caudle from Livingston, Alabama, is leading the tie-down roping in the SPRA. In his four years with the association, he’s won the average twice at the finals, set to take place the first weekend of January in Philadelphia, Mississippi. While his goal is to claim the year-end saddle, Alex takes equal pleasure in watching other competitors succeed, especially the athletes that make up his rodeo team at the University of West Alabama (UWA).
Now 27, Alex applied for the position of head rodeo coach and was accepted when he was 24, a comparatively young age for a head rodeo coach. He competed on UWA’s rodeo team for four years and qualified for the CNFR in 2011. Alex also met his wife, Cheree, while rodeoing with her on the team, and she won the breakaway in the Ozark Region her senior year.
“The school really means something to me, and I want the team to be successful and to win,” says Alex. “I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. When the kids get an education and the team wins, I win.” When Alex started coaching in 2013, there were nine members on the rodeo team. In the last three years, that number has more than quadrupled, and Alex is coaching 38 students. He was named Coach of the Year for the Ozark Region in 2014, and has sent nine athletes to the CNFR. “If I had to choose one favorite thing about my job, it would be seeing the difference in the students as they mature as competitors and improve in their events. When they graduate, you have to start all over, but it’s a blast, and it’s hard to describe the feeling I get when they win.”
Alex’s own rodeo career began when he was seven, pushing steers while his neighbors team roped. “They’d let me ride horses and push steers, and then I started heeling.” By the time Alex had a roping pen and steers to his name, team roping’s popularity had all but died out in his corner of the world. In seventh grade, he started tie-down roping and later rodeoed with Alabama High School Rodeo, qualifying for the NHSFR and even placing in a round at the IFYR. “It didn’t really bother me switching events,” Alex says. “I realized I could rope calves on my own, and I really started liking it more than team roping.”
He won Rookie of the Year in 2012 in the IPRA and finished second in the average at IFR 43, the only rookie to qualify for the finals in tie-down roping that year. He worked his way through rodeos in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan and even into Canada, where he split first and second in the average in St. Tite, but these days, Alex prefers to rodeo closer to home in the SPRA and PCA. He rides a ten-year-old sorrel gelding, Crook, who was raised by Buck Daniel. Alex purchased the horse from one of his students, Lucas Brasfield of Parrish, Florida. “Crook has a crooked foot, but he’s a winner. I got him this Fourth of July, and he gives you a chance to win every time. I don’t practice near what I used to because I devote all my time to the team, but when I’m catching their mistakes and explaining how to fix them, it makes me a mentally stronger competitor too.”
His wife, Cheree, breakaway ropes in the PCA and SPRA, and the pair of weekend warriors also enjoy skiing and boating. “But we’re not near to either one!” Alex says with a laugh. “Cheree grew up in Florida near Tampa Bay, and we’ll go out on her dad’s boat, but we’re planning to go skiing in the Carolinas for Christmas.
“I’d like to make as many finals as I can, and I’d really like to win the SPRA this year,” he finishes, “but I mainly want to be the very best roper I can be.”

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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