Hard work and consistency pay off for Dylan Gordon
Riding and roping are part of daily life at the Gordon home outside of Comanche, Okla. For Dylan, the oldest son of Andy and Krissie, this way of life is just fine.
Success in associations such as the United States Team Roping Championships (USTRC), the World Series of Team Roping (WSTR), the Ultimate Calf Roping Association (UC), and the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association (OHSRA) requires a certain level of dedication. Gordon’s dedication is best summed up by examples of his success.
He earned the title of Reserve Champion Header at the National Junior High Finals Rodeo in Gallup, NM back-to-back in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 he was the number 13 Champion Header at the USTRC Guthrie Shoot Out Championships, and in 2011 placed fifth and had the overall fast time at the USTRC Will Rogers Classic roping. In 2011 he won the second round of the Barry Burke Championship Jr. Calf Roping event.
Fast forward to today. Gordon currently sits in second place in both the Tie-Down Roping and Team Roping (Header) standings for the OHSRA.
“My goal starting out this year was to make nationals in both Tie-Down and Team Roping in high school rodeo,” says Dylan. With the top four contestants from each state qualifying for the National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) in Rock Springs, Wyo., July 15-21, 2012, it appears he may be a little ahead of schedule for this.
As a high school Junior, Gordon has achieved a level of consistency many of those he competes against never will. When questioned about the key to his success, the Oklahoma cowboy keeps it simple. “Practice is the key. I just rope.” When asked to be more specific about his practice schedule, Dylan doesn’t ponder it too long. “I practice as often as I can – usually every day,” he says.
For roping influences outside of the family, Gordon looks to PRCA hands Turtle Powell and Ryan Jarrett. Powell has been a favorite of Dylan’s for some time and admits it was fun to watch Powell and partner Jhett Johnson win the Team Roping world titles at the 2011 WNFR in December. Winning a bet he made with his mom on their success only added to the excitement for him.
Jarrett, a six-time WNFR qualifier and the 2005 World All-Around Champion is a neighbor to the Gordon’s and a frequent visitor. “Ryan just lives a mile north of us, so I see him quite a bit,” explains Gordon.
As for tools of the trade, Dylan relies primarily on four horses: Doc, Crocket, Rooster and Diamond. Doc and Crocket are used for heading and Rooster and Diamond to rope calves. “All but one are family horses, broke and trained by me, Dad, or Grandpa,” Gordon points out with pride.
Outside the arena Dylan enjoys hanging out with younger brother, Colt, and his rodeo buddies. He spends the little free time he has starting colts and hunting. “I’ve got a relative that does some guided hog hunts and I’ll go with him every now and then and bring a couple hog dogs along,” says Dylan.
The game of rodeo often requires help from family and friends and Gordon’s fortunate to get a lot from both. He’s appreciative of his immediate family, including his dad, mom and brother. He is also grateful for the support he gets from his grandparents, James and Brenda Gordon of Comanche and Danny Cowan and Nancy Barney of Velma.
The list goes on, but three others Gordon would like to extend special thanks to include Gary Ledford, Mike Smith and Chris Myers. “Gary’s my great uncle and has helped me a lot with my calf roping. He qualified for the NFR 10 times,” explains Dylan. He continues, “Mike is a family friend and helps out all the time. All I gotta do is call and he’s there to help.” He adds, “Chris is from over in Velma, and it’s the same thing with him. I rope at his indoor barn some and he’s hauled me thousands of miles. All I have to do is say when and he’s ready to go.”
Though warm weather and the regular rodeo season are several months away, you can bet Dylan is working hard today to make sure he remains consistent. As he’s proven already, success begins with work.
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I have been rather preoccupied lately and haven’t been writing my editor’s note. So, for those who have called and emailed to make sure I’m still on this Earth, I’m still here.