Farm Talk


March 2, 2010

Getting in a cowboy frame of mind

Miles travelled to go rodeoing in 2009—63,971. Rodeos entered in 2009—95. Bareback horses ridden in a year—hundreds. One trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas—A dream come true.

That’s the way Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bareback rider D.V. Fennell from Neosho, Mo., looks back at one of his most successful years in rodeo.

Fennell, a Missouri transplant by way of Utah and Oklahoma, has spent the major part of his life around horses and rodeos.

“Dad cowboyed on a ranch and I was always on and around horses,” he says. “When I got a little older I got to where I was always in the pen trying to break colts.”

When Fennell turned 15 he moved in with a rodeo stock contractor and got an even bigger taste of the rodeo lifestyle—as well as taking on a very important.

“I guess I was pretty lucky. I got to be their official guinea pig,” he jokes. “They would put me on anything just to see if it would buck hard enough to get me off.”

But Fennell wanted more.

“I always wanted to ride the horses,” he claims. “After the first rodeo I ever saw I just knew that was what I wanted to do.”

So that is exactly what he did.

After rodeoing for several years, Fennell bought his PRCA permit in the early ‘90s and started hitting the pro shows. Finally, he was living the dream, but he found out pretty quick the dream of being a rodeo star can often look like a nightmare.

“I was rodeoing all over and going with some of the best guys out there and I just couldn’t get it put together,” he explains. “Those guys were winning rodeos and I wasn’t.”

Fennell rodeoed hard and did everything he could do to score high but things just weren’t working out.

“I guess it was a learning experience for me. I had to learn to grow up and learn the business,” Fennell says. “I had to learn how to not only win, but to be a businessman and most importantly how to take care of things at home.”

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