Rodeo cowboys basically live on the road, traveling with men and women crazy enough to ride, rope and wrestle live animals for a paycheck. Each day, Hair Balls is asking a different cowboy to tell us a little bit about himself and his wildest story from a life of rodeo.
Name: Broc Cresta
Hometown: Santa Rosa, California
Event: Team roping
I got into rodeo because I grew up doing it. My family has done it forever, so I was just born and raised in it. My family owns a ranch, and we used to put on a lot of team-roping jackpots. I've been around cattle and horse my whole life. I've roped ever since I could pick up a rope, and I probably started roping on a horse when I was six or seven.
I'm on the road quite a bit this time of year, so I'm pretty busy. We're out here in Texas for three months. We came from San Antonio, and we're staying in Houston. From here, we're heading to Austin. Then we're about done, heading back to California in a couple weeks, and we'll be out there for a couple months.
Everywhere we go in rodeo seems to be a fun place, and there's stories, but nothing that really sticks out. It's just all hanging out in different places. There's a lot of sitting around, or maybe we go try to play golf. You really just try to keep practicing as much as you can, staying sharp for the next rodeo.
If I didn't rodeo, I don't know what I'd do.
In team roping, you try to rope with the same partner all year long, but most of the time you get stuck. Like here, my partner didn't win enough money last year to qualify for Houston, so I drew a partner. Normally, you travel with the partner you rope with, and sometimes you get a buddy team, where you'll get another team of guys in with you to split fuel and make it easier on you.
The best thing that's happened to me in rodeo was winning the rookie of the year in 2007, then winning Cheyenne in 2008. Other than that, just being able to do this is enough. I've been lucky that whoever I travel with has been my better friend. We all get along and have a pretty good time. These are all my friends that I'd be hanging out with whether I was rodeoing or not.
The worst thing about rodeo is there aren't a whole lot of breaks. At the end of the year, you get to be home a couple of months and kind of regroup. It feels like I'm home during the California rodeos, because I can drive back and forth, but other than that, you really don't have any breaks. A guy gets kind of sick from being away from home all the time, and the driving gets old, but you pretty much have to do it. There are injuries, and stuff that can happen, but if a guy can just practice and stay sharp, it's okay. You're more worried about your horse than you are yourself.