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 Shannon Boyles
story by Lindsay Humphrey
A competitive spirit coupled with a good horse keeps Shannon Boyles returning to the team roping. He’s tried and failed to stay away from the rodeo area, but it just keeps pulling him back in. Hailing from Junction, Texas, the heeler roped calves back in college, but he gave up that event long ago. “I started rodeo as a kid and then went to college and had a lot of fun with some bad company,” he joked. “I made the Texas circuit finals in 1979 when I was 21 years old in the team roping.” Shannon has tried his hand at steer tripping a few times, but team roping is more his speed.
“Back in 2015 I was playing a lot of golf and I wasn’t really roping. My wife, Kay, was running barrels, so I was hauling her around. She wanted to go the senior pros, so I started taking her to those.” After spending quite a bit of time discussing roping with some of the NSPRA members at rodeos, Shannon decided it was time to get back in the game. “It gave us both something to do and if we both competed, it was just better overall. We’ve had a blast so far.” Leading up to the year end finals in 2019, Shannon and Kay were on the road for senior pro events quite often. But the health of their parents started to decline and kept the couple closer to home. They’re optimistic that the 2022 season will find them at more rodeos.
This year will also be marked by the addition of their daughter and son-in-law, Casey and Shayna Gattis, headed down the rodeo trail to NSPRA events. “Casey is younger and he’s always on me about continuing to rope and trying to stay young. He’s a pretty good motivator.” Kay is Shannon’s other key motivator when it comes to entering up at the next one. “Kay is constantly riding three or four horses every day. She’s been a big help keeping me in it.” The competition also keeps Shannon motivated when the hours behind the windshield get long. In fact, if roping wasn’t competitive, he probably wouldn’t do it. “I don’t really like to practice a whole lot, but I love to compete. Even when I play golf I don’t just go to play, I like to go to tournaments. The competition makes me want to go because if you’re not competing it’s not fun to me.”
Homegrown 13-year-old Woodrow makes Shannon’s job easy so he doesn’t have to make a lot of practice runs at home between rodeos. “He’s out of a mare that my dad left to me when he passed away, and by our stud – Plenty Goldwood by Plenty Roanwood.” Casey broke Woodrow and then a family friend used him on his cattle in the wheat field before Kay started running calves on him. “I’ve been heeling on him for the last few years and I’m about the only one who rides him now. I can let him sit for two months and then go get him and he’s good to go. It’s nice to have the kind of horse that you don’t have to ride and work on every day.”
Shannon still owns Woodrow’s dad and on any given day he could be roping on either one. In 2018 the pair won the year-end saddle in the team roping in the NSPRA. Shannon and Woodrow were reserve in the same the following year. That was Shannon’s first year serving on the NSPRA executive board and when 2022 comes to a close, it will mark the end of his term. “Being on the board is enjoyable. It’s full of a lot of good people, the whole association is. Everyone is just trying to do what they think is best for the association and the people we represent. I wish we could get more rodeos in the eastern part of the U.S. There’s plenty of people in the east who could compete, but it’s hard when the finals are on one side of the country or the other.”