"I haven't felt the need to compete since I retired," says seven-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association all-around champ Ty Murray. "I haven't missed competition or felt the need to replace rodeo with some other competitive event."

Reined-cow-horse competition pairs the skill of reining and the action of cutting in one demanding event. Three National Reined Cow Horse Association members offer their insight on going down the fence. 

After three world championships and 24 trips to the National Finals Rodeo, steer wrestler Roy Duvall focuses his energies on the next generation.

Making the leap into ranch-horse versatility competition has been a learning experience for Tripp Townsend and the ranch hands at Sandhill Cattle Company. But training their horses for competition has become a part of their everyday ranch routine.

The environment outside your arena contains all kinds of challenges for a young horse. Clinician Joe Wolter makes a point to ride toward them, using the outdoor elements to promote suppleness, balance, trust and develop common sense.

Mike Major of Fowler, Colorado, the source for "Make a Major Improvement," our September print feature on shoulder control, has spent his entire life horseback and working cattle. The ranch-raised horseman brings all that riding experience to the competitive arena and has since he was a youngster.


Two-time world champion barrel racer Sherry Cervi has found the strength to overcome some of life’s toughest challenges.

With a floppy hat on her head and stick horse in hand, a young Sherry Cervi raced around a miniature version of a cloverleaf pattern set up in front of her parents’ home. She was on foot and on pavement, but to the little blonde girl this run was the real deal. So when she tipped a bucket, she just couldn’t help but pout.

Even then, Sherry did not like to lose.

More than two decades later, a photo taken of Sherry’s stick-horse race still hangs on her parents’ fridge, and far be it from her father, Mel Potter, to contain a chuckle when he thinks of it.

“Whatever she did, she really tried to do it well,” he says. “She was pretty mad about knocking that barrel over. She’s knocked a lot of them over since, but she doesn’t cry like that any more.”

Like a West Texas ranch that still hauls out the wagon for brandings, the Stock Horse of Texas Association hasn't changed much, either. Oh, it's grown during the past decade-both in memberships and the number of yearly events-but it's stayed true to its roots.


In the last decade, professional rodeo has skyrocketed into the mainstream. Cowboys have become superstar athletes, and fans turn out in record numbers to cheer on their favorite riders. So why has PRCA, rodeo’s driving force, had to fight to stay alive?