PSN: How is it traveling with the world champion?
CF: It is pretty fun. There's not much difference this year than in years past. I have been traveling with Jeff for several years, and he is still the same old Jeff. If anything, we tease him a little more about it now.
PSN: How did you get involved in rodeo?
CF: My whole family was involved in rodeo. My dad, Jerry, used to ride saddle broncs and when we were kids (has two brothers, Casey and Shane, and a sister, Shanna), we competed in 4-H rodeos and it went from there. We ranch at home, and all our neighbors were involved in rodeo at some level, so it was just a natural thing.
PSN: Why saddle bronc riding?
CF: Mostly because my dad did it, and he had a saddle sitting around the house. I competed for a while in high school in the team roping as a header and heeler, but wasn't ever very good at it, so decided to focus on saddle bronc riding.
PSN: How did you, Chet and Jeff become traveling partners?
CF: Jeff and I have traveled together for a few years now. We were from the same area, so it worked out well. Jeff ran into Chet one year in Reno (Nev.), and they started traveling together since I was home hurt. When I came back, we all continued traveling together. We are all pretty easy-going, and we have a great time. Chet and Jeff keep us laughing, and I just try not to be the butt of their jokes.
PSN: What is it about South Dakota that produces so many good saddle bronc riders?
CF: We have some pretty good horses to ride up in South Dakota, so that really helps when you learn on the best. When a guy gets on good stock, it requires you to ride your best. (It also helps) having guys like Red Lemmel and Bud Longbrake give you pointers.
PSN: Worst injury you have suffered?
CF: My worst injury was probably breaking my leg last year in Odessa (Texas). The horse ran me up the chute, and my lower right leg hit the post, breaking both bones. I had to get a rod put in, and it took a while to come back. It feels pretty good now.
PSN: What do you like to in your free time?
CF: We watch a lot of movies on the road, and when I am home, I work on the ranch. My brother, Casey, and I bought a ranch, so we stay pretty busy with that.
PSN: What is your favorite movie?
CF: My favorite Western is Lonesome Dove, and my favorite non-Western is Dumb and Dumber. That movie is so funny.
PSN: What made you want to be a certified electrician?
CF: I figured that if rodeo didn't work out, I would need something to fall back on. I like the electrician angle, so I got a degree in that. I haven't been able to use it much, but at least I will always have that certification.
PSN: What do you enjoy most about rodeo?
CF: I enjoy traveling and meeting all the people. Without rodeo, I wouldn't have seen as much or met as many new friends. There are a lot of good guys out here that a guy would have never met if he wasn't competing.
PSN: If you weren't a rodeo cowboy, what would you be?
CF: I would be running a ranch in South Dakota.
PSN: If you were to win the lottery tomorrow, how would that change your life?
CF: Not much. I would probably get a new pickup and new van to travel in. I would probably buy some land and a house in South Dakota. However, I would continue to rodeo.
PSN: It says in your bio that you enjoy working on cars. If you could have any vehicle in the world, what would it be?
CF: It would probably have to be a 1967 Camaro, because they are really, really cool hot rods. I am a big hot rod man. Hopefully, one day I could own a hot rod and take it to all the big shows.
PSN: What else should we know about you?
CF: I got engaged to a girl named Jessie over Christmas. That was her Christmas present, and I think she was pretty surprised. She is from South Dakota and is an X-ray technician, so that will work out good when I break stuff. We are planning to get married sometime next year.
The Cowboy Grille appears in each issue of the ProRodeo Sports News which is published bi-weekly by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. For more information or to subscribe, contact them by clicking here.