Meet the Member Bo Crotta

by Lacey Stevens

story by Lily Weinacht

Bo Crotta was swinging a rope by the time he took his first steps, growing up in a family that runs a boarding facility and puts on events like team pennings and barrel races. Today, 33-year-old Bo from Bethany, Connecticut, is a heeler in the team roping, competing with his dad, Paul Crotta. The father and son qualified for AFR 39 and finished third in the average, originally starting the season with the goal of making the finals while seasoning a pair of young horses. “We caught a bunch of cows and ended up doing really well,” says Bo. “That wasn’t our rookie year, but we had never dedicated our summers to making the finals before.”
Bo competed mainly in Little Britches and amateur rodeos, and even rode bulls competitively for seven years once he finished high school. He attended Odessa College in Texas on a rodeo scholarship, and by that time, he was already a farrier, learning his skills from shoeing his family’s many horses. Bo picked up equine dentistry while in college, and presently, he works two days a week in equine dentistry and shoes horses the other three days of the week. “I work really hard for my money, and rodeo is in my blood. That drives me to be better than I was the last season. I feel like I have two good horses and the talent, and with the money rodeos and ropings offer, I’m really hoping to change my life and my kids’ lives with my rope and my horse.”
Of Bo’s three children, Dylan, 13, Marley, 6, and Max, 5, Marley is the horse lover. “She is head over heels for horses, and both my rope horses are babysitters,” says Bo. “She can ride any one of them and trot the pattern. My kids live in Texas for the school year, and then they come for the summer and rodeo season. They travel with me, or stay with my family. We all live close together, and we practice and keep the horses in the same spot.”
While Bo used to head and heel, he’s now strictly a heeler after coming across two small horses several years ago. “I really like small horses. The one I rode this last year, Vinny, is one I trained myself, and I’m pretty proud of him. He’s barely over fourteen hands, but he’s stocky, and his fast feet and big stop are what sold me. A lot of arenas on the East Coast are narrow, and he does the job perfectly.” Vinny helped Bo put a 4.3 on the clock – Bo’s first run under 5 seconds – at the Fonda County Fair Rodeo last summer. They won the rodeo, while Bo’s other horse, Riddick, won one of Malibu Dude Ranch’s rodeos last spring. “He’s a young horse, and it was the first rodeo I entered him in. It was a downpour, so I babied Vinny and put him in the trailer, and Riddick and I ended up winning the rodeo.”
Bo and his dad mainly practice on the sled through the winter, and they have access to 25 – 30 head of roping cattle. “In the spring and summer, we put on team penning and cutting events, and we also hold barrel races. It’s mainly run by the family – my parents and my two older sisters. They both married people in the horse world, so we’re all making a living around horses in one way or another.
“I’m looking to expand my competition, and hopefully make two finals rodeos this year, with the AFR being one of them,” Bo finishes. “Since they co-sanction with the IPRA, we might go that route. Right now, I’m just happy to be roping and traveling with my dad, and being competitive against some pretty stiff competition on horses we made ourselves.”

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

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