My favorite thing about rodeo is the people, and I have hundreds of examples why.
The most recent is when I wanted to have 3-year-old Cade Hemphill meet real professional cowboys, so I contacted saddle bronc rider Chet Johnson, a three-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier. He was competing at the National Western Stock Show in Denver on Friday afternoon, and I knew the Hemphill family was heading to the rodeo that night.
Not only did Chet agree to meet with the youngster’s family, he took with him two bronc riding friends, 2006 world champion Chad Ferley, a four-time NFR qualifier, and Cort Scheer, the fourth-ranked bronc rider at the conclusion of the 2010 season. Here are three elite athletes in their chosen event, and they take time to meet with a young fan and his family.
Mom Karla Hemphill said the gathering made young Cade’s year, which is a pretty strong sentiment considering today is just Jan. 22. But the reality is, Cade has proven his love for rodeo at a very young age.
I hope the meeting just fosters that hunger into a lifetime passion. Ride on, Cowboy Cade; ride on.