story by Julie Carter Hailing from the Steer Wrestling capitol of the Navajo Nation, Crownpoint, NM, the 17-year-old Tsosie twins, Tyra and Tydon, have made […]
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Meet the Member Stran Thompson
story by Lindsay King
A phone call from people like Russel Sullavian, Taos Mumcy and Jerrad Focstetter meant the world to 17-year-old Stran Thompson from Estancia, New Mexico. “I have known Taos since I was a little kid but when he won the college finals in 2007 that was a big factor in what made me decide to rodeo.” Stran ropes with both Jarrad and Russel on occasion to improve his heading and his calf roping. “Russel is a nine plus heeler so he knows how it all works. He shows me how to turn steers for different number heelers.” Stran has always loved the calf roping. “I have a great calf horse, we just click. I have roped calves ever since I started rodeo in the second grade.” Stran woke up one day and decided that he wanted to rodeo, his parents thought it was a great idea and they have not looked back since.
A 600-acre ranch gives Stran the ability to practice on more than just a dummy. “My grandpa has a ranch in Colorado with some steers. I went up there a lot when I was little to rope with him. Roping and ranching is something we can all do as a family and we all enjoy it.” Shane, his dad, and Shannon, his mom, used to rodeo when they were younger. They now live on a ranch in Mountain Air, New Mexico, where they run 25 longhorn cows they breed to get roping steers and calves out of. “It is hot and dry here but we have gotten a lot of rain so it is starting to green up. We used to have beef cows but sold them before we moved to this smaller ranch.” Shane is a welder and farrier and Shannon is a librarian for the local high school.
Stran is a senior and is starting his third year of online schooling through Dora High School. “I wanted to be able to rope more and not sit at school for eight hours. It is easier because I can work at my own pace.” He used to be a basketball player but is now focused only on rodeo. He aspires to attend Eastern New Mexico University and major in fiber optic wiring while being on their rodeo team. “If I can make good money at a job and still be able to do what I love then I cannot complain.” His major role is to be the best he can be in rodeo.
The tough competition of NMHSRA helps push Stran to work harder on his roping. “It is a tough state; you have to be on your A-game if you want to make nationals. It is a lot of friendly competition though, every one is there for each other at the end of the day.” All through middle school Stran had a goal of winning the state all-around cowboy title. He won cutting his freshman year at state but finally won the all-around the following year. “We roped everyday and it paid off that year. I won both the cutting and the all-around titles.” A third state title in the cutting with a second in calves and a sixth in team roping led Stran to his second state all-around title. “My goals for this year are to make it to nationals in team roping and win the state calf roping.” His sights are set on getting saddles for team roping and calf roping. “Watching guys tie calves consistently and quickly at nationals made me want to work at it that much harder so I can go to nationals next year and be right there with them.” His favorite part of rodeo is when all the hard work finally pays off. “My best advice is that when you miss a calf, keep your head up. There are thousands of calves out there to rope. Missing the calves that you need the most should send you back to the practice pen to work even harder. It will all pay off in the end.”