Each year we send the February issue of Spin To Win Rodeo out the door in rodeo's only off-season–in between the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the start of Odessa and Denver–so we use that space to recap the 2016 season with the Spin To Win Rodeo Awards.
Bob Welch and I split up the coverage on those each year, and this year I got the Header of the Year and Head Horse of the Year write ups. I've interviewed Kaleb Driggers more times than I can count, so this year I took the approach of calling his wonderful mama, Laura, to get her take on her son who has come a long, long way from Albany, Ga. I learned so much about the kid they used to call "Fly" in his junior rodeo days that I didn't already know, and I hope I share some new insight with you when it hits your mailbox.
I also got to learn more about Colby Lovell's Fast Time, our Head Horse of the Year. You'll read about how user-friendly he is, how Lovell came to own him, oh, and by the way, he's for sale.
This morning, in fact, I woke up to an email from 81-year-old John Keene, who once owned Fast Time, or "Doc" as he called him.
"My friends wanted to know what a 67-year-old man wanted with a 4-year-old horse," Keene wrote of buying the palomino. "Well he was everything Colby said about him when he was 4 years old as he is now, a great horse, in and out of the arena, gentle for a small child."
Letters like that don't come often, but when they do, they sure make our day.
All that is just on the head side. Bob did an outstanding job uncovering some little-known info about Junior Nogueira's voyage to the US, courtesy of a recent World Series of Team Roping Finale champ. And Jake Long's Colonel, well he comes from Dixon Flowers' awesome program, so you'll learn plenty about what kind of top talent they churn out.
That's just a tiny glimpse into the issue that's surely hitting your mailboxes as I type. You'll find some training tips with Dakota Kirchenschlager, the story behind Luke Brown's Rockstar, insights from Jake Barnes and Clay O'Brien Cooper, opinions on how to win the average at the WNFR, info on the WPRA's new 18-and-under policy in the roping division and much more. Don't be shy--stop by our Facebook page and let us know what you think!
P.S. Thank you to Impulse Photography for our cover image! She shot it on-the-fly in Vegas for us before the ninth round, and we couldn't have been happier.