story by Laura Martin When Jim Persinger discovered the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association in 2012, feeling like he could still compete at the age […]
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Meet the Member Mike Clancy
story by Terry Rhodes
With a successful rodeo career that spans 40 years and includes his share PRCA, Senior Pro, and USTRC checks, the one win that is the most important to Mike Clancy didn’t make him a dollar. “My most satisfying win was when I won the Arizona State Junior Rodeo Team Roping Championship with my daughter, Wendy. This was about 1986. In the Junior Rodeo you had to rope with your parent so I was heeling for her. She was the only girl that ever won that 16 to 18 year-old-division. I have roped for a lot of money in my rodeo career, but I was never as nervous as when I was heeling for her in that.”
Mike has been in the Senior Pro Rodeo Association for 25 years. He competes in the team roping with his header Sherrick Grantham. He also belongs to the USTRC and PRCA. “I still compete in the PRCA circuit rodeos.” He likes the Senior Pro Rodeo Association for the relaxed atmosphere and good friends he’s made. “The Senior Pro Rodeo Association is a unique organization that is for a specific group of people that enjoy and need this association. This is about the only place people over 40 can go and still compete in rodeo. Some people might say they’re too old to rope, but I believe you get old because you don’t rope.” His wife, Jan also competes in the NSPRA in the breakaway.
He was 25 years old before he ever got on a horse. “A friend of mine from high school, Marvin Wurtz, started me roping. My father-in-law roped and he gave me a horse to use. It just went on from there. There weren’t any schools going on back then. A lot of people helped then; Bob Payne, Jim Wales helped me a lot and I roped at his place.”
For Mike there is no better preparation to compete than competition itself. “To really prepare I have to rope under real competition conditions. To rope my best, that’s what I have to do. I practice quite a bit but that isn’t as good as real competition.” Mike says that his determined mind set and stubbornness help him keep going and he has no quit. He does workout at a nearby Cross Fit facility to stay in shape.
Then there are the superstitions. “I have a hundred of them. I’m the worst in the world about superstitions. Some I can’t tell you about. I do wear same the shirt and hat if things are working; I don’t want to change the karma of things. I shouldn’t be superstitious, but I am.”
Mike says that Jan is his biggest influence in his life. “She has always supported me 100% in everything I do. She keeps me on an even keel in the business world. I’d be living in a camper out in the woods if it wasn’t for her.”
They live in Queen Creek, Ariz. where Mike runs his custom home building operation. The couple has three grown daughters, Jori, Renee, and Wendy. “They’re all married and we have grandkids and they live here in the valley.” Roping involves all of the Clancy’s and provides a lot of good family time. “We’re serious about it and practice but it is a hobby for us.” Leisure time is either roping or playing a little golf.