Brody Cress ended his 2017 season with the PRCA with an 88 point ride on Dakota Rodeo’s Bartender to win the saddle bronc riding championship […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Shade Etbauer finished his first year at Panhandle State University, continuing his education and rodeo career under the coaching of his dad, Robert Etbauer, and Craig Lathum. Both of his parents went to school there, along with his brother, Trell (27), and sister, Chancey (30). He is studying Industrial Technology. “I’m going to use it after rodeo,” he said. “I mainly like woodworking, building log furniture and stuff. I did a bunch in high school and I’m starting to do it through my woodworking teacher now. It’s a lot of fun.”
He spends his days during the school year in class and helping his dad ride and shoe horses at their place in Goodwell, Okla.“We’ve got around 40 horses on the place and around 200 roping calves,” said the 19-year-old nephew of Billy Etbauer. Shade competes in saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping, and team roping. “We train calf horses and bull dogging horses. We also break colts to ride – dad buys and trades horses. He finds them all over the place – people come looking for calf horses and he’ll trade them.”
Shade grew up in Goodwell, surrounded by rodeo. “I started competing in National Little Britches when I was 7.” He competed in all the events – goats, flags, breakaway, ribbon roping. He also competed at the high school level – Texas Tri State – when he was a freshman. “My sophomore year I moved on to Oklahoma High School and competed there for three years.” When he first started rodeoing, Trell and Chancey were in high school so they helped him out a bunch. “My dad or my team roping partner haze for me – sometimes Trell does depending on what rodeo we’re at.”
He missed the 7-man-team that won the nation at the CNFR this year by one spot. He ended up sixth in the bronc riding and if he had been fifth he could have gone. “I stayed home and rode and fed.” He’s going to wait until the new season to buy his permit and enter the Rookie Bronc Riding at Cheyenne. For this year, he’s going to the Texas and Kansas amateur rodeos and this is his last year for eligibility with the National Little Britches. He has won the All Around for the last three years at the National Little Britches Finals, and won the bronc riding last year. He’s taken that title at the Oklahoma State Finals the last two years in high school.
Of all the events he competes in, he likes calf roping and bronc riding the most. “They are really competitive events and they are the most complicated events there are – and you have to do them right to be successful at it.” His practice consists of riding the horses on the place. “Dad has all these horses that we’re roping on and we saddle them up and rope. There’s a lot to learn to train horses and I’ve got a lot to learn.” Shade’s biggest fan is his girlfriend, who he met at the High School Finals last year. Randi Buchanan lives in Reno, Nevada, and will be attending college this next year at Panhandle State.
Rodeo has been good to Shade so far. “My senior year at the IFYR I ended up second in the all around – I did really good – I took home a little under $5,000. Between that and all the scholarship money – high school, little britches finals, and a really good rodeo scholarship from the college.” He had enough left over to buy a 2012 Dodge.
All of Shade’s competition horses were born and raised on their place. “I’m riding horses that we’ve trained ourselves. My calf horses is an old bull dogging horse – and he didn’t work out that way so we started roping calves on him. My heeling horse I’ve had since I was a kid.” He hauls to most rodeos with his team roping partner (Caleb Bullock), who lives on the place with the Etbauer family. “Between the two of us we haul between six and seven horses. He lives up by where my grandma and grandpa live inColorado and he came down here one time. We helped him get started and he ended up staying one summer with us and that was that. He’s been living with us a few years now.
It’s helpful to have an extra hand around the place. “I’ve been here by myself for the last couple years,” he said. The Etbauers provide all the roping calves for the last college rodeos – 200 to be exact. “We buy them from a guy down in Texas and bring them home and straighten them out, make sure they are healthy and then we go to roping them. We’ll get in anywhere from 30-60 head at a time. We don’t have team roping steers here at the house. There are 50 head over at the college that we rope every week and we have a jackpot every week there.” Allen McCloy, from Morse, Texas, supplies the college with broncs to practice on.
Shade plans to rodeo for a long time after he’s done with college. Shoeing horses and raising bucking horses is what he thinks about doing when rodeo slows down. “When I was a little kid when dad was still rodeoeing, we had about 300 head of them and I always thought that would be neat to do.” In the meantime, he keeps plenty busy at the place. “I got up at 4:30 this morning to help an old rancher friend of our haul cattle and doctor them. Now I’m back at home and about to rope some. We’ll rope for five hours or so. I like it. I don’t like to sit around and do nothing.
The NLBRA annually awards nearly $60,000 in Scholarships.
Shade Etbauer has earned more than $10,700 toward his education and still has this season to earn more for a potential of another $3,700 if he repeats his Finals’ performance of 2010-2012. Etbauer has earned scholarships for his performance at the National Finals Rodeo including the $1,000 All Around Scholarship sponsored by Ram Rodeo. Other scholarships are made up of local franchise rodeo sponsored by the Lamar Elks, the Wrangler Academic Scholarship, being a Rainwater Memorial Scholarship recipient, as well as being the Senior Boy with the most points earned for another $1,200 annually.
It is predicted that Shade will become a four-time World Champion All-Around in the NLBRA.