CNFR Rodeo Qualifier — TiAda Gray

This is the second of a five-part series on Eastern New Mexico University’s College National Finals Rodeo qualifiers, scheduled to run through the rest of the week. The CNFR begins next Monday and runs through June 21 at Casper, Wyo.

TiAda Gray
Class: Sr.
• Hometown: Lovington (Tatum H.S.)
• Event: breakaway roping

How did you get started in rodeo?
I got started in rodeo when I was about 4 years old. Both of my parents rodeoed when they were younger. My mom did a lot with rodeo queen stuff and rodeos and my dad did junior rodeos. My grandpa on my dad’s side did rodeo as well. My parents and grandpa are the ones who really got me started and are why I rodeo at the level I do today.

What most appeals to you about the sport?
The competitive challenge to being the best. Everyone works hard to be the best and this sport is your opportunity to show off what you work so hard for every day.
What types of things do you enjoy doing away from rodeo?
I hardly ever get away from rodeo now. I used to play sports in high school so that was my enjoyment away from rodeo. Now I rodeo all the time and I enjoy every bit of it!

What is your most memorable rodeo experience?
It is a really close race between winning high school nationals my freshman year in the breakaway and breaking my leg last year at the college rodeo finals playing a game of softball for fun. The broken leg didn’t really slow me down. I won second in the third go round and was in the Top 10 of the nation after the finals was over.

What are your plans after graduation from college?
I plan to continue to run my business and start training a few rope horses and ride horses for other people. I also plan to continue to rodeo at the amateur level and rodeo at a few of the pro rodeos in the barrels.

— Compiled by Dave Wagner