Updated: Aug 19, 2020


We had the recently had the opportunity to catch up with four members of the Smarty Young Pro Team. This week, we are joined by Zack Berger of Belfield, ND, Alberto Sanchez of Saltillo, Mexico, Luke Phillips of Lubbock, Texas, and Morgan Barnes of Fort Meyers, Florida.

Tell us a little about yourself and what all events do you compete in?

  • Zack: Team Roping (heeler) and Tie-down Roping

  • Alberto: Team Roping (header), Tie-Down Roping and Steer Wrestling

  • Luke: Team Roping (heeler)

  • Morgan: I’m currently a freshman in Highschool. I am a 2020 International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist. I play seven instruments; my favorites include bass, double bass, clarinet, and guitar. I play lacrosse, and I’ve been rodeoing for the past 10 years. As far as events, I compete in Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, Breakaway Roping, Goat Tying and Light Rifle.

At what age did you start riding?

  • Zack: 3 years old

  • Alberto: 5 years old

  • Luke: 6 years old

  • Morgan: 5 years old

Who is your favorite pro rodeo athlete?

  • Zack: Trey Yates

  • Alberto: Junior Nogueira

  • Luke: Junior Nogueira

  • Morgan: Shad Mayfield or Jackie Crawford

How do you prepare yourself for an intense rodeo and school schedule?

  • Zack: I try not to think about it much so that I don't get in my own head

  • Alberto: I listen to music to relax

  • Luke: Making a schedule for my school work and and completing it early in the day so I can rope

  • Morgan: Time management is crucial. I have to get my work done first and then if I have free time I get to relax.

Tell us a little about your horse?

  • Zack: His registered name is MTCUP DRPEPPER his nick name is Brick he is a bay roan that we have owned since he was 4. We trained him ourselves He has a very loving personality.

  • Alberto: My horses name is Bull and is very intense

  • Luke: He is a Houdini, who can untie himself and let himself out of his own pin

  • Morgan: My pole and barrel horse, Molly, is a twelve year old mare. I’ve had her a little over a year now, and I could not ask for a more hardworking horse. I’ve had Fancy, since the beginning; she taught me how to ride, and is my goat horse currently. Finally my rope horse, T, is my go to boy. I’ve had him for about 2 years now.

What songs gets you pumped up before a rodeo/roping?

  • Zack: Another level By :Blood is Rebel,Chosen one By: Valley of Wolves, Money talks and Thunder Struck By: AC/DC

  • Alberto: The Fire by Bishop Briggs, Wold Horses by Bishop Briggs, Last Man Standing by Graffiti Ghosts

  • Luke: Anything by Koe Wetzel

  • Morgan: My favorites are Stole the Show, Remember the Name, and Get Low

What’s your favorite meal on the road?

  • Zack: Beef jerky and McDonald

  • Alberto: Chips, hamburgers and fries

  • Luke: Hamburgers

  • Morgan: I can’t live without sweet tea and cookies

What do you want to major in college?

  • Zack: Animal Science

  • Alberto: Architecture

  • Luke: Architectural Engineering

  • Morgan: I’m planning on pursuing a career in science. I want to get a degree in Aerospace engineering, or a degree in Earth and Environmental sciences.

What’s your favorite subject in school?

  • Zack: Ag Class

  • Alberto: Math

  • Luke: Math

You’re on the road a lot, when do you practice?

  • Zack: I always bring my pipes with me, so as soon as we get to a rodeo I can practice

  • Alberto: I know many people throughout the country (Mexico) and they let me practice in their arenas

  • Luke: During the week

  • Morgan: I always take a dummy with me on the road, so I can still practice

Who is your traveling partner(s):

  • Zack: My mom and dad

  • Alberto: My best friend, Valeriano Robles

  • Luke: My father or partner Cole Drum

  • Morgan: My twin sister, Michelle, and my chihuahua, Burrito.

What do you do when you are not rodeoing?

  • Zack: I help my Dad with ranch work and I like to ride horses and golf

  • Alberto: Play football

  • Luke: Work out, go to school, and work

  • Morgan: I spend time on my research project and I love to play with my band

What’s your favorite thing about rodeoing?

  • Zack: Rodeoing is like having one big family everyone cheers for one another and help each other out

  • Alberto: Getting to know new people

  • Luke: The thrill of the competition and how unpredictable rodeo can be

  • Morgan: My favorite thing about rodeo is the atmosphere of the shows. The feeling of tranquility, when I leave the alley that my horse and I are initially standing in, is truly one of the greatest feelings in the world.

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