Cowboy Diaries: Ace Slone

True cowboys are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Here we spotlight one person with enough dirt on his boots to call himself a cowboy -- and mean it. Name: Ace Slone.

Age: 26.

Hometown: Cuero, Texas.

Event: Tie-down roping.

I've been to Rodeo Houston five times so far. It's always exciting. It's the biggest rodeo of the year and it's the best.

I started rodeoing when I was little. My dad rodeo'd, so it's in the genes. Rodeo is very much a legacy sport. You've got to have access to all this stuff, to the land, the horses, the whole thing. Besides that, the way this is done is handed down through the generations so you'll find a lot of people are like me and come from families that have been doing this since way back.

My favorite part of rodeoing is the traveling. I love getting to see new places. I get to travel all over the place and go places I've never been and do something I love. I play golf, too, so wherever I am, I try and find time to go play and I'm getting to see the world one golf course at a time because of the rodeoing. Houston is great, too, because here the committee is really here for us. Some places we go, they only tell us what to do and don't really try and make it nice, but here they go out of their way to make this special. They treat us with respect.

When I'm not rodeoing, I'm doing everything else. I love to play golf and hunt and go fishing and to get out and see new places, particularly golf courses. My dad runs a saddle shop in Cuero, so I help out around there, too.

If I wasn't rodeoing, I'd hopefully be using the business degree I got from Texas A&M. Luckily I haven't had to use it so far, but I would hope that there would be avenues open to me in that world if I wasn't doing this. I help out with my dad's business now, and I'm sure that someday I'll get more involved in that.

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Dianna Wray is a nationally award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil to horse races.
Contact: Dianna Wray