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A Minor adjustment

Twisted Rodeo - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 14:43


OKLAHOMA CITY – Shawn Minor approaches rodeo much like a factory-worker.

“I just want to be a rodeo cowboy,” said Minor, a 21-time International Professional Rodeo Association world champion from Camden, Ohio. “I have a wife and two kids, and I’ve got to provide for them. That means winning at rodeos. If you don’t win, you don’t get paid and don’t make a living.”

He’s done pretty well at it. Since his rookie season, Minor has qualified every year for the International Finals Rodeo. He returns for the 12th time to IFR 45, set for Jan. 16-18 at Jim Norick State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

Shawn Minor

Shawn Minor

He owns nine all-round gold buckles, eight bareback riding titles and four saddle bronc riding championships. He will roll into Oklahoma City in mid-January No. 1 in all three categories.

“I’ve been playing this game since I was 13, and I’ve learned the ropes,” he said. “I’ve been through the failure and success. I know how to do this deal.”

That has paid off quite well. He has earned nearly $61,000 riding bucking horses in the IPRA.

“A lot of people told me I couldn’t make a living rodeoing, and I set out to prove them wrong,” said Minor, 39, who first qualified for the IFR in his late 20s. “I never set out to win world titles. I just wanted to be known as a good cowboy, in the arena and out.

“My success that I’ve had has just been the topping of the cake. I feel pretty lucky, but I probably work harder at it than most people work in their lifetime. When it comes to riding bucking horses, I would eat it, sleep it, dream about it. I would wake up in the morning, then go out and saddle a colt that I knew bucked. It’s all in how bad you want something.”

He travels North America in order to compete in the sport he loves. He mounts about 200 bucking horses a year. Some years, he has to really work at his job to make it pay off. That was 2014.

“This was not really one of my better years,” he said. “I won a lot, but I won a lot of second- and third-place checks. I didn’t draw the one on them (to win on often). Last year I couldn’t draw a bad one; this year I had to work pretty hard.”

Work is nothing new to Minor, who grew up on a ranch near Gordon, Neb., in the state’s northwest corner, just a stone’s throw from the South Dakota border. He attended a country school that had about half a dozen students in kindergarten-eighth grade. In fact, he started driving himself to school when he was about 8 years old.

“They wired 2-by-4s to the pedals, the clutch, brake and gas,” said Minor, who also rode horses to class. “I broke a lot of ponies and colts to ride going back and forth to school.”

Now nearing 40, he continues to make his presence known in the game he’s played since he was a youngster.

“Being in so many wrecks in my lifetime – as far as bucking horses flipping over or whatever – I’ve just learned to steer clear of a lot of that stuff,” he said. “I think a lot of that is just experience, and I’ve had a lot of it.

“You tend to get pretty savvy to that kind of stuff.”

He also has learned a traditional trait of most cowboys; he can block out pain long enough to make the rides necessary. Of course, there’s no other way a man has a chance at his 22nd, 23rd and 24th gold buckles during the 25th anniversary IFR in Oklahoma City.

“It’s all in your head, because rodeo is such a mental game,” Minor said. “If you don’t have a strong mind and a big heart, you’re probably never going to go very far in rodeo.”

Minor has come a long ways in his rodeo career, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon.

Categories: Twisted Rodeo

Natural gas prices plunge in mild winter

Business News - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 14:38
Heating bills across the United States are falling this winter as unusually warm temperatures in the Eastern United States have crimped demand for natural gas as a source of heat.

Kangaroos box in the street

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:43
Kangaroos jab and kick in a street brawl. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on two boomers coming to blows down under.
Categories: International News

Woman's drug probe nightmare ends

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:43
American traveler Stacey Addison says she was detained for months in East Timor because she unwittingly shared a taxi with a stranger carrying drugs. Now she's out of jail -- and a guest of a former East Timor leader.
Categories: International News

Bride's flash mob wedding shocks

CNN - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:42
A woman thought she was doing a favor for a photographer by wearing a wedding dress to the mall, but then this happened.
Categories: National News

Are these dumbest thieves ever?

CNN - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:40
Thieves make off with a rare drone, but they'll only get to fly it once because they forgot its remote and charger.
Categories: National News

McDonald's to end fry rationing in Japan

Business News - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:31
McDonald's customers in Japan have something extra to look forward to in the new year: The end of the french fry ration.

Remembering a Sri Lankan town wiped away by tsunami

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 13:08
A dozen young children chatter and giggle around me, taking my pad and pen to write down their addresses very carefully. This way, they tell me, I'll know where to send help.
Categories: International News

Girl: Dad gave me to Boko Haram

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 12:59
One girl recounts how her father turned her over to Boko Haram and what happened when they told her she would die.
Categories: International News

Christmas baby born on train

CNN - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 12:50
Riders of Philadelphia public transit were reminded on Christmas Day that the holiday celebrates a birth in the humblest of circumstances.
Categories: National News

Putin cancels holiday vacation

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 12:29
Vladimir Putin delivered a lump of coal in the Kremlin's stocking this year when he announced Thursday that he has canceled holiday vacations for members of the government.
Categories: International News

$2 gas is becoming more widespread

Business News - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 12:15
Missouri gas stations had a nice Christmas present for drivers.

U.S. says ISIS did not down plane

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:57
For the first time since an international coalition began striking ISIS, one of its pilots has been taken captive by the Islamist extremist group.
Categories: International News

Al-Shabaab: Attack on base was revenge for U.S. airstrike

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:48
Al-Shabaab said it attacked an African Union military base in Somalia on Thursday in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that killed their leader near Barawe in September.
Categories: International News

Irish court allows end to pregnant woman's life support

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:29
Ireland's Supreme Court ruled Friday doctors can withdraw life support in the case of a clinically dead woman who is 18 weeks pregnant as there is "no reasonable prospect" her unborn child will survive.
Categories: International News

Russia empties the vault to prop up the ruble

Business News - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:26
Read full story for latest details.

Zakaria: Are moonshots worth it?

CNN World - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:25
Moonshots are exciting, inspiring. But they are also expensive -- and not all of them work out like Apollo 11. So are they worth it? Should we focus time, money and energy on these kinds of ambitious scientific projects?
Categories: International News

When 'Doctor Who' met Santa

CNN Entertainment - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:13
The big draw to this year's "Doctor Who" Christmas special was the Doctor meeting Santa, but as usual, there ended up being a lot more to it than that.
Categories: Entertainment News

SpaceX will try landing a rocket on a tiny ship at sea

Business News - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 11:04
Read full story for latest details.

Caramel apples linked to outbreak

Health - Fri, 12/26/2014 - 10:57
A sweet treat has turned potentially deadly for dozens of people in multiple states.
Categories: Health
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