Ed “Woody” Stavovy

by Lily Landreth
Ed "Woody" Stavovy

Ed Stavovy, better known as “Woody” among his friends, has been competing in the APRA since he was 18. Today, at 35, Ed is still happily competing in the association in tie-down roping. Ed grew up on a cow farm in Washington, Pa. and although none of his family had a background in the sport, Ed entered his first rodeo when he was five. He caught the rodeo bug, and went on to ride bulls and team rope when he was in high school. At age 21, Ed decided to quit his roughstock event. “I quit riding bulls ‘cause I was too beat up,” he explained. Still wanting to compete, Ed decided to pursue roping more seriously. He did so with the help of several friends, including Dan Minick and Justin Yost. “They taught me a lot. I had the opportunity to go all over the country with Justin. We went down to Florida two years in the winter when the weather got bad up here.”

Following high school, Ed was pursuing several other career possibilities while he kept up his roping. He attended the Academy of Equine Dentistry in Glenns Ferry, Idaho and worked in that area of training for several years. He also worked in construction where he eventually settled in to building fences for a company out of Pennsylvania. He has been working for the company for nearly 14 years, building fences for horse farms, construction sites, residential areas, and agricultural purposes.

Over that period of time, Ed had been roping off of his horse Taco, but Taco’s many years of competing were catching up to him. Not having another horse ready to rope off of at the time, Ed decided to quit rodeoing. He bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle and went to bike rallies. However, riding a motorcycle couldn’t quite measure up to roping, and after several years, Ed decided to start rodeoing again. His young mare, Betty, was old enough to start roping off of. Having raised and trained Betty with the help of his friend, Ed was ready to see how she did at rodeos. He started hauling her to rodeos in October of 2012, and by May the following year, Betty proved a good roping horse. She has helped Ed to win a number of rodeos in the last year. While Ed lives in Pennsylvania, he keeps his horses at his friend Dave Trehorne’s house, which is in Ohio. Trehorne has an indoor arena, and Ed makes the hour drive across the state line about four days a week to ride and practice.

Ed likes to spend his spare time going to concerts or seeing a good movie, but he loves nothing better than the feel of his rope in his hand. He is sitting fifth in the tie down roping. “I just love going to rodeos. It’s so expensive that I want to win every time I go, but it’s not easy to win money in tie down roping.” Fortunately for Ed, several of his friends at work also rodeo, and their employer gives them the flexibility to come and go during rodeo season. Ed tries to keep his weekends booked with rodeos throughout the summer, and one of his favorite rodeos in the APRA is held in Attica, N.Y. “I’ve done well there, and there’s a fun party,” he explained with a laugh. Ed said of his goals for this year, “I’ve always been just out of the finals, so I want to make the finals this year. I’d like to try to stay in the top ten, catch most of my calves, and have fun!”

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