Meet the Member Jace Thorstenson

by Rodeo News

story by Lily Weinacht

Jace Thorstenson is a two-time NLBRA team roping world champion, winning his most recent title in 2018 with his friend and heeler Ketch Kelton. “I was feeling pretty good about it, and the runs went well,” says the 15-year-old from Surprise, Arizona. “It’s fun that you get to be at the Finals for a little while, and they’re good rodeo people.” Jace took home his first world title in 2015 in the heeling, team roping with Denton Good from South Dakota. Since Jace’s family divides their time between Arizona and New Underwood, South Dakota, he learned about Little Britches when he was 7 or 8 and was given the chance to start roping a year early, although the closest Little Britches rodeo to him in Arizona is the Las Vegas Little Britches.
Once the high school rodeo season starts, the Thorstensons head south for Arizona. Jace competes in the Arizona High School Rodeo Association, as well as the Arizona Junior Rodeo Association, where he’s leading the tie-down roping and ribbon roping, and sitting second in the team roping and all-around. The challenge of team roping appeals to Jace, and his skills also won him a truck last year at the National Team Roping Association’s event at Rancho Rio in Wickenburg, Arizona. He slid behind the wheel of his Ford F350 dually as soon as he got his driver’s license.
“My favorite places I’ve traveled to are probably Las Vegas and the Lazy E (in Oklahoma),” says Jace. “I like watching the World Series at South Point. Last year we went from Arizona to Huron, South Dakota, for the NJHFR, and then we went to Oklahoma City. We missed our second steer (at the NJHFR) but came back the fastest in the short round.” Jace and Ketch finished 11th in the nation in the team roping, while Jace also competed there in the ribbon roping, tie-down roping, and goat tying.
Jace’s heel horse, Toad, carried him through the NJHFR and NLBFR last summer, and he’s now heeling for Cooper Anderson in high school rodeos. Toad originally belonged to Chris Hogan, and Jace’s family trained the horse and later purchased him. Jace does his tie-down roping on either Snoop or Doc. He and his parents, Jeff and Kristie Thorstenson, divide animal chores between them, and travel to rodeos together. Kristie trains barrel horses and competes in futurities, and she was an all-around competitor for many years, while Jeff still competes in team roping and trains rope horses. “He works with me on horsemanship, and I rope off his horses,” says Jace. He also looks up to Brent Lewis and Paul Tierney, as well as Tyler Magnus. The Thorstensons host several Tyler Magnus clinics every year in Arizona and South Dakota, which Jace helps run.
A freshman, Jace is homeschooled and particularly enjoys learning Spanish. He does the majority of his school from home before leaving for rodeos, and also spends time hunting coyotes or target shooting. Qualifying for the NLBFR again and winning several more team roping titles is on his list of goals, along with competing in the Best of the Best Timed Event Rodeo in Gallup, New Mexico, this summer, and the Junior BFI in Reno. His greatest goal for the season, however, is to finish his freshman year with a qualification to the NHSFR.

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

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