Caleb Anderson giving professional rodeo a try

Published 9:16 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

By Alex Riley

For the Enterprise

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Caleb Anderson is grateful for the push.

Moments earlier, he and partner Cory Kidd V finished their second go-round run in the team roping competition at Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.

Things looked promising, but a 10-second penalty was added to their 7.6-second effort, putting them outside of the top 12 that returned for Sunday’s short go championship round.

It was a disappointing result.

But, for the Mocksville native, a bad day in the arena is anything but bad.

“I’ve worked day jobs here and there, but I don’t like pushing a shovel. I logged when I was kid for (my dad), I’m a fifth generation logger,” Anderson said. “That’s all cool to some kids growing up, but it gets old and long days. It doesn’t matter how long the day is roping or how bad you do, the next day you want to get up and do it again.”

Anderson, who got introduced to rodeo by his father, has competed at regional rodeos and the occasional Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event for years. He’s been successful enough to win the Interstates Rodeo Association title three times, but the competition has always been a pastime.

A nudge from Kidd changed things this season.

“We’d roped together a bunch off and on. He’s never really went all year and so I finally talked him into going,” Kidd said. “I was like, ‘Man, you need to go. You need to stay out here all year, go all year.’ I talked him into it and he’s here.”

PRCA rodeo season begins in January with the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo in Denver. Along the way, there are opportunities all over America and Canada to earn money. The top 15 cowboys in earnings qualify for a spot at National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas this December. Anderson is 32nd in the PRCA team roping heeler standings with about $30,300 won so far. Kidd sits 16th overall in the header standings with around $40,500. They’ve picked up championship buckles at the Western Stampede (Utah), the Hand Hills Lake Stampede (Alberta, Canada) and the Tops in Texas Rodeo.

It’s a long season with a ton of traveling. Cowboys compete at multiple rodeos within a week, sometimes spending less than 48 hours in one location before moving on to the next hundreds of miles away.

Anderson admits in the past he might have been a little nervous about the high level of competition. Now, he’s wondering why he waited so long.

“It’s something you’ve just got to do if you want to do it and you want to rope against the best. You’ve got to come out here. It just took me awhile. I guess maybe I was just comfortable over there,” Anderson said. “One day, you kind of grow up and want to get out and that’s why I decided to come out.”

The disappointment in Cheyenne didn’t last long. A few hours later, Anderson and Kidd were in Alberta, Canada competing in finals of the Medicine Hat Stampede – another rodeo, another paycheck and another championship won.

Anderson set a goal of going all year and competing at as many events as possible. He’s got some work to do, but who knows where that could lead him to – maybe a spot in the NFR.

“I’m going to try and go the full year and see where it kind of puts me and ends up. I still maybe have a chance,” he said with a smile.