Shane Hanchey has made a name as one of rodeo's young-gun tie-down ropers, and he's known for his fast hands and love of, ehem, purple. The Louisiana State University die-hard was the 2009 tie-down roping rookie of the year, and he's fighting his way into the top 15 again in 2012. We caught up with Hanchey and asked him questions that were on the minds of Spin To Win Rodeo's readers. If you'd like to have a pro answer your question next month, visit facebook.com/spintowinrodeo and join in the discussion.
Laura Holm Honn: What age were you when you got serious about roping?
I'd say it hit me probably when I was 15 that I wanted to rodeo for a living and I wanted to make the Finals. That was the first time I got to ride Reata. That had a lot of influence on it. I knew that not everybody would have a horse like that and I really needed to take advantage of it.
Jay Vincient Crawler: What do you look for in a good calf horse, and what's a good age?
One that can score good. Being on the barrier is the most important part of your run. One that can run, we don't need one that will be as hard stopping as we used to, but it's good to have one that can make people go wow.
Leighton Berry: What's a good way to stay up out of your saddle?
Knowing that you've got to have good balance, and if you're off balance and your left foot isn't in your left stirrup your shoulders twist and you can't stay up.
Brett Schewe: What are some of the key things roping calves in the practice pen that will benefit you in the long run?
I try to breakaway quite a bit at the house to keep my loop sharp because I know when I leave for the summer that I won't be getting many opportunities to tune myself up. I really emphasize roping the dummy and breakawaying quite a bit but I tie down quite a bit too to stay in good rhythm and timing.
Thayne Winterton: What do you do while you're on the road to keep your horses tuned up and fit?
I'm always messing with my horses one way or other. There's not really many places to keep them tuned up but I like to keep them fit up as much as I can. I always ride them and fiddle with them.
Peggy Garman: What is it like to have young kids looking up to you?
It's unexplainable to be honest. It's what I've looked forward to ever since I was a kid. Really that's what it's all about in the long run is being a good role model for the next generation. And in order to do that we've got to be real outgoing and real positive and real faithful.
Joshua Pool: What advice would you give to young kids about what it takes to go down the road like you do?
There's so much. But the main thing is to keep your priorities in line and have a good work ethic, and last but not least staying in the bible and keeping the word close.
Jade Schmidt: Did you think when you were younger that you'd be where you are now?
I always dreamed of it and imagined in but when me and Tuf got to be about 16 or 17, we were almost going to be disappointed if we weren't at this level because of how much work we put into it. When I was 12 or 13 if you'd have said I'd have made the Finals twice I'd have said I sure wouldn't mind it but I didn't think it would be in my future. But when we were 16 or 17 there was no denying it because we'd worked so hard