A conversation with Hartsel, Colo., bareback rider Micky Downare | TheFencePost.com

A conversation with Hartsel, Colo., bareback rider Micky Downare

Story and Photos Lincoln Rogers
Parker, Colo.

Micky Downare was having his best year in rodeo in 2011, until he tore his lower abdomen muscle in half.

Once he recovered and started a comeback, he blew out his elbow.

After a year and a half away from rodeo, Downare returned in 2013 to start having success once more.

He won Estes Park's Rooftop Rodeo, won the Raton, N.M., PRCA rodeo, was co-champion at the Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith, Ark., made the short go in Greeley, Colo., to place sixth in the average and also finished fourth in Elizabeth, Colo.

Reaching him on the road, Downare took time to discuss his thoughts on rodeo.

Below are portions of that conversation.

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Lincoln: Your family runs Elk Mountain Cattle Co. Tell me about growing up on a cattle and bison ranch.

Micky: I loved it. I wouldn't change it for nothing in the world. It was absolutely a lot of fun. I learned a lot about it and (bison) are definitely a lot faster than cattle. (laugh)

Lincoln: So what made you get into rodeo?

Micky: My dad rodeoed (barebacks, broncs and bulls) growing up and always told us stories about it. Then my older brother (Monte Jr.) rodeoed and I just started falling into it. I wanted to do it so bad when I was little because of hearing my dad's stories and then watching my brother do it. I couldn't wait to do it.

Lincoln: What made you choose barebacks?

Micky: When I was younger, I always wanted to ride bulls and my dad really didn't want me to. (laugh) I finally talked him into letting me get on bareback horses. I started riding bareback horses when I was pretty young and in High School I got into riding saddle bronc horses, too. I always just rode my older brother's saddle, so I didn't have a saddle when I went off to college. So I just stuck with bareback riding. It was always my strongest event.

Lincoln: How young were you when you started experiencing the whole bucking bronc nature of it?

Micky: I rode calves and steers growing up as a little kid. I started riding steers when I was 6 or 7. I got on my first bareback horse when I was 12. It was a controlled environment. It was Little Britches rodeo. I rode them for one year in Little Britches when I was 12, and then my dad said he probably thought it would be a good idea for me to grow up a little more and let my body mature a little bit before I went on with it. So I waited until I was 16 before I started going again.

Lincoln: I understand you hold an arena record in Texas with a 91-point ride in 2010. How does that feel to hold an arena record?

Micky: It's actually really awesome. Where I hold it is at the All American (ProRdeo) Finals (Waco, Tex.). It's pretty cool to know that I hold it there. It's neat, for one, to hold an arena record; never mind there.

Lincoln: Do you have a favorite rodeo?

Micky: I really like San Antonio. They really try to take care of their contestants. They bring the best stock out there; they bring a lot of different stock contractors in. The hospitality there, it's a really good atmosphere.

Lincoln: Even though the sport took a toll on you in 2011, what is it you love so much about rodeo?

Micky: It's a natural high. It's just you against the animal. You can't blame it on someone else if something goes wrong. It's you. We get to make our own decisions where we get to go. We are our own bosses out here. Just the competition part of it. It's pretty cool to be out here doing this.

Lincoln: Is there a memorable ride you look back on?

Micky: Of course my 91-pointer in Waco. I actually have a couple I always go back to. That one in Waco and the night I won San Antonio (2010), that's a real memorable run too. And third, the night in Ponoka, Alberta (2011). That horse felt so good and everything worked out really good there.

Lincoln: Is there any horse you would love to have as a rematch?

Micky: Just the other day in Cody, Wyo., I had Make Up Face of C5 Rodeo. The horse bucks really hard and I started him outstanding. At about six seconds I had a bobble that cost me a lot of points. I would love to have another go at him.

Lincoln: Is there something you've got in the back of your mind that you would like to do once you are finished with rodeo?

Micky: When it is all said and done, I will go back to the family ranch and work with them there. It is always something new and exciting every day. I can never see myself sitting in an office. I want to stay in the agricultural world and run cattle and stuff. That is definitely up my alley. ❖