MARYVILLE, Mo. – Sometimes the greatest cowboy stories are about the cowgirls.
Ted Harbin knows that as well as anyone in the sport. He owns Rodeo Media Relations, a promotions company that utilizes feature writing as a way to share rodeo stories with media outlets and with rodeo fans.
Harbin received the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association’s media award during a Dec. 4, 2014, luncheon that took place in conjunction with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
“This award means a lot to me, because I’ve got a lot of wonderful friends in the WPRA,” said Harbin, 47, who also writes for Women’s Pro Rodeo News, the WPRA’s monthly magazine. “I’m very blessed to do something I love, and writing stories about these women and their amazing horses is a real honor.”
Harbin lives with Maryville with his wife, Lynette, and their two daughters, Laney, 12, and Channing, 6. Lynette Harbin is the program director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nodaway County.
“There is no way I could do this without my family’s support,” Ted Harbin said. “Those three girls are the reason I’m able to make a living doing what I love. They drive me, and when I need to be on the rodeo trail doing my work, they believe in me. There is now way I can repay them for all they do for me.”
He worked in the newspaper industry for 22 years before developing Rodeo Media Relations. Since then, he’s focused on telling rodeo tales. Each year, he works some of the biggest and most prestigious events in ProRodeo. He maintains TwisTED Rodeo, a well-respected news and information site about the sport. He also serves as a publicist for some of the greatest athletes in the game.
In 2010, Harbin was honored with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s Media Award for Excellence in Print Journalism.
“For me, the awards come every day that I get to tell stories about the people of rodeo,” he said.
Originally from Leoti, Kan., Harbin graduated from three Kansas schools: Trego Community High School in WaKeeney, Pratt Community College and Fort Hays State University, where he earned a degree in mass communication in 1989.
“The awards I’ve received are incredible to me, but my real rewards have come with the lifelong friendships I’ve developed because of rodeo,” he said. “When we talk about rodeo, we talk about one big family. Most of the people I write about not only are my friends, they are a part of my family.
“It’s a pretty amazing way to spend my life.”