Western & English Today


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JANUARY 2015 59 her school's FFA chapter and the foreign business club. When she's not doing the "rodeo stuf ," she is hanging out with friends and checking her Twitter feed. Spears enjoys using the rare spare moments to search for the latest trends and styles on Pinterest. She uses the #teamariat hashtag when on the road at special events and rodeos, where she's currently favoring her Ariat "Hacienda" boots and turquoise jeans. BRADY NORMAN T wo-time World Junior Champion Brady Norman of Lone Grove, Oklahoma, was able to talk to me when he was done feeding his horses and before starting his homework. T at was af er he'd spent a long day at Long Grove High School, f nished football practice and worked out in the roping arena. Norman shared a typical weekly schedule: play a football game on Friday night (he alternates between wide receiver and quarterback), hop in the truck to travel to an out-of-town rodeo on Saturday and Sunday, attend high school classes three days a week and accelerated college courses on the other two weekdays. He heads to his ranch three days a week to practice roping and makes football practice every day. In the winter, he replaces football with basketball, and in the spring, it's track. I get exhausted just writing it all down! T e talented athlete has won two trucks and 45 saddles during his short rodeo career and has logged impressive championships, including the 2009 Jr. High All-Around National Champion. Norman relies on his Ariat M4 Jeans in competition and credits sponsors like Ariat with helping him achieve his dreams. He and his parents are discussing his future plans. Should he go the pro rodeo route or focus on his schooling, perhaps to attend business college in Stephenville, Texas, where his roping partner lives? Time will certainly tell. Regarding social media, Norman admits he's a man of few words. "I'll mostly say how I did at the rodeo, but I leave photo posting and all that stuf to my mom." SHANE HANCHEY I caught up with 2013 National Finals Champion Shane Hanchey the night before the Amarillo Rodeo was to start and quickly learned why it's no surprise I had to track him down. T e tie-down roping competitor has been logging about 80,000 to 100,000 miles on the road since 2009. "I'm only home about 150 days a year," Hanchey says. Home for the 24-year-old Cinch athlete is Sulphur, Louisiana. Hanchey seems remarkably focused for his age. He took online college courses for a few years but said the decision to go pro was, for the most part, an easy one. "I am going to go as long as I can compete and win. I'll stay striving toward my goals." In spite of several impressive victories and wins, the four-time National Finals qualif er is remarkably humble yet surprisingly sophisticated in terms of social media. Hanchey has his share of Twitter and Facebook followers, but says, "I don't want people to get tired of me. I don't want to oversaturate social media with all my rodeo news. If I win a big rodeo, then I'll post it, but my followers want to know who I am outside of the arena." T ough he keeps plenty busy, Hanchey says he tries to answer every question his followers ask. He's a fan of the Cinch "Carter" jeans and like the brand's new Performance Fit shirts for the practice arena. P H OTO G R A P H Y: CO U R T E S Y A R I AT, CO U R T E S Y M I L L E R I N T E R N AT I O N A L, I N C.

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