Editor’s Note: On Character and Buddy Hawkins
The May 2022 Editor's Letter from Chelsea Shaffer in The Team Roping Journal.
Buddy Hawkins American Rodeo

Dear Roper,

Buddy Hawkins is long overdue for a cover of this magazine. Honestly, he’s helped me and our magazine every way he could since he broke onto the scene during his first NFR run in 2013. He did video blogs way back when, he’s always available when we need to talk through a training tip on deadline and he’s generally one of rodeo’s great guys.

I’ve written this column about the time my husband cut his finger off at a ProRodeo in Loveland, and Buddy came running to make sure I could keep it together enough to run barrels just a few minutes later. In the heat of his battle to try to qualify for the NFR that year, he risked his (sub-14.2-hand) heel horse getting run over by my barrel horse to make sure I got up and down that long alley while the EMT’s wrapped my husband’s hand, and he took that same barrel horse back to the trailer and unsaddled him while I hopped in the ambulance to finally check on the lost-finger situation.

He even stuck around after the team roping at a circuit rodeo way out on Colorado’s eastern plains to snag a video of my barrel run a few summers ago. I’m a mom who works full time and barrel races a little so, I promise, that run wasn’t anything even barrel racing fans would have stuck around to watch. I didn’t realize he had, and as I pulled out of the parking lot that night I got a text from Buddy with the video of my run—one of the best I’d pulled off all summer but one I thought nobody had even noticed.

I know these aren’t big things, and maybe they’re all a little personal or insignificant to have kept you reading this far. But character matters, here at The Team Roping Journal, we don’t ever forget that.

To that end, on page 64 Kendra Santos explores what’s made Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins the winningest team of the winter and spring. I’d guess there’s something special about their character in there, too.


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