We recently had the opportunity to catch up with four members of the Smarty Young Pro Team. This week, we are joined by Tanner James of Harper, Texas, Wyatt Kanan of Fort Sumner, New Mexico, Kate Albertson of Eldon, Missouri, Creed West of Wilard, Missouri.

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

  • Tanner: Team roping, Bullriding, Chute Clogging, Tie Down Roping, Breakaway Roping (Header)

  • Wyatt: Team Roping (Heeler)

  • Kate: Team Roping, Breakaway, Ribbon Roping, Goat Tying, Pole Bending, .22 Shooting (Header)

  • Creed: Team Roping

At what age did you start riding?

  • Tanner: 3

  • Wyatt: I started riding from a very young age. I was riding on my own by 5 and entered my first rodeo heeling at 9 years old.

  • Kate: I started riding by myself around the age of 4.

  • Creed: 3 or 4 years old

Who is your favorite pro rodeo athlete?

  • Tanner: Allen Bach, Jess Lockward, Tuf Ceeyar

  • Wyatt: Buddy Hawkins heels great and is a strong Christian.

  • Kate: One of my favorite professional rodeo athletes is Jackie Crawford. She is very inspiring with her teaching and lifestyle. I love her story and how she is motivated and driven to give it to her best in life. Jackie shows that you don’t have to come from much to rise to the top in life. These are a few reasons why Jackie Crawford is one of my favorite professional rodeo athletes.

  • Creed: Wesley Thorp

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

  • Tanner: Stay on a schedule and stay focused.

  • Wyatt: I try to stay ahead of the ball game on my school work so I can practice as soon as I get home and to make sure I don’t have any homework before I leave out on the weekend for the rodeos. If you keep your head down it really isn’t that stressful.

  • Kate: To prepare for an intense rodeo and school schedule I like to, first off, make a list/schedule plan. This helps me to not be stressed and know what I need to get done in the day, for school and rodeo. This can include what homework and projects are due, and/or, what things I need to pack in the trailer. Also, I like to make sure that I am practicing or roping the dummy daily after I complete my school priorities. These things help me to stay organized and calm in a busy schedule.

Tell us a little about your horse?

  • Tanner: She is a blessing to me. Her name is Oreo. She’s a black and white horse.

  • Wyatt: The horse I am hauling right now is a 4-year-old bay horse that I call “Hippie”. I broke him to ride as a 2-year-old and he has jumped from being a colt to being my good horse in a short amount of time. He is pretty big so he can be tough to rodeo on but is awesome at the jackpots. He has a lot of runs but is pretty ratey and really stops smooth solid.

  • Kate: My team roping and goat tying horse Buster (21 yrs) is ranch raised and was trained by my dad. He's a very gentle horse and we know we can always trust him with young riders. He has helped all of my family learn to ride well. Buster was the 2018 Professionals Choice Equine Athlete of the Year. Ruby (11 yrs) is my breakaway horse. She is sired by the same stud as Buster and also was trained here on the ranch for roping events. She has helped me and my brother succeed in the breakaway. She has a sweet personality and is always ready and prepared for whatever is in store. Dollar (10 yrs), was just introduced to poles last summer. I have worked hard to train him. He is very energetic and versatile. He is a ball of fire at times but kind at heart. We also use him for roping events, but primarily I’m using him for poles and hope to start him soon on barrels, too.

  • Creed: Twitch he’s a 9-year-old grey heel horse and Zena she’s 3 but is coming along very good!

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

  • Tanner: Dr. Billy Alsbrooks. He’s a motivational artist.

  • Wyatt: After watching a bunch of X-Factor videos, I have become a Ross Shifflet fan. Most of his songs get me pretty pumped up.

  • Kate: My favorite song to jam to before competing is “High Hopes” by Panic! At the Disco.

  • Creed: Any rap hip/hop song gets me going

What’s your favorite meal on the road?

  • Tanner: Healthy ones. Shakes and salads.

  • Wyatt: Mcdonalds really never gets old. It should, but it doesn’t.

  • Kate: When traveling to our rodeos, my favorite meal to eat is Taco Bell and Funyons. This is for sure one of my favorite combinations and meals to eat on the road.

  • Creed: Favorite meal would half to be a hamburger there always consistent

What do you want to major in college?

  • Wyatt: I plan to Attend NEO A&M for a business degree and to college rodeo.

  • Creed: I’m planning to go to college and study Ag business but I don’t know where to yet

What’s your favorite subject in school?

  • Tanner: Biology

  • Kate: My favorite subject in school is English because I love reading and writing. I find it relaxing and fun, yet educational.

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

  • Tanner: As much as I can. All the time mostly.

  • Wyatt: I make time to practice as much as I can when I know I’m gonna be gone for a while. I don’t require many steers for myself when I’m gone a lot, I can get by if I keep roping the pipes a lot. When I'm on the road and my horses need to run some steers I just do what I can to find a way to run some or get the burns at the jackpots or whatever I can.

  • Kate: If we are on the road a lot and not at home, I usually rope the dummy a lot in between rodeos and make sure my horses are exercised to ensure that I compete with a spirit of excellence.

  • Creed: I practice whenever I’m home, I try to do everything I can to be prepared for the next roping or rodeo

Who is your traveling partner(s):

  • Tanner: Family and friends

  • Wyatt: I had been traveling a lot with Zane Coffelt. That just recently switched, and I have been roping with Shane Jenkins.

  • Kate: I travel with my Mom, Dad, 4-year-old sister, Lily, and older brother Gus. My family is always there to support me when it comes to rodeo. My grandparents usually come to our rodeos around the state as well.

  • Creed: I mostly travel with my buddy Bridger Ketchum

What do you do when you are not rodeoing?

  • Tanner: Exercise, fish, practice, hunt, family time, and studying the land.

  • Wyatt: I really enjoy training horses, so that gets a lot of my time, whether it's starting colts or tuning rope horses.

  • Kate: When I am not rodeoing, a few things I enjoy are cooking, crafting, playing guitar, training horses, feeding baby lambs, helping out around the house and ranch, and overall spending time with my family.

  • Creed: I play basketball and football when not rodeoing or work on our ranch.

What’s your favorite thing about rodeoing?

  • Tanner: Traveling, seeing the views, hanging out with friends, and learning the way of the Rodeo.

  • Wyatt: It is limitless. There is no top-level to reach or a way to win the whole game. You can always improve, no matter what level you're at. Jade Corkill still has to try his best to improve every day if he wants to keep winning, just like I do.

  • Kate: My favorite thing about rodeoing the memories and experiences. Don't get me wrong, winning is fun, but without the friends and the people, rodeo would not be the same. I have learned so many things not only about myself but about life--things that have helped me to be a better person. I wouldn't give up rodeo for the world.

  • Creed: Meeting new people and having fun!

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