By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer
A cowboy who recently moved to Portales will be competing in the National Finals Rodeo next month.
Jerrad Hofstetter, 24, grew up in East Texas. He moved to Portales last spring with his wife, Brittany, daughter of Charles and Beverly Bennett of Portales.
Beverly Bennett said the two first crossed paths in 2002 at the National High School Rodeo finals in Farmington. Brittany was the New Mexico High School Rodeo Queen, and the rival Texas team, led by Jerrad, was trying to dowse her.
The New Mexico team was trying to soak the Texas High School Rodeo Queen as well.
The couple really met in 2005, when he was tie-down rookie and she was Miss Rodeo New Mexico, as they were traveling from rodeo to rodeo.
Brittany and Jerrad married on May 12, 2007, in Lubbock, “in a barn, with the horses in the background,” said Beverly Bennett. “It was a nice barn; it was well-decorated.”
The couple married in Lubbock because Brittany was going to school at Texas Tech.
Beverly said Jerrad is the only cowboy from New Mexico going to the NFR.
Jerrad said he and his wife both had the goal of going to the NFR.
“She got to go last year; I get to go this year,” he said.
Brittany competed in barrel racing; Jerrad will compete in calf roping.
The cowboy said he’s been rodeoing about 12 years and competing professionally for about four years.
Charles describes Jerrad as “a gentle giant.”
“He works real hard at what he does,” Charles said. “He practices a lot.”
“He’s a real goal-oriented person,” Charles also said, adding that Jerrad was a real help to Brittany as she prepared for her competition. “He knows what he wants, and he works hard to get it.”
Indeed, rodeo is a priority in Jerrad’s life.
“You gotta be real self-disciplined,” he said. “You get to go at your own pace. I just love it.”
Jerrad’s excited about going to the NFR.
“It’s the greatest rodeo one could ever qualify for,” he said. “It’s the Super Bowl of rodeo.”
Jerrad will be riding the “calf roping horse of the year,” whose name is Dually.
The NFR will be held in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 4-13.