Ree Dees and Joe Mike Clem teamed up for the #12 World Series of Team Roping qualifier produced by Mathews Land & Cattle in Las Cruces, New Mexico, last month, turning in a time of 33.5 seconds on four head to take home $7,490 and a trip to the WSTR Finale. Dees works for Joe Mike riding and training horses. Not only will Dees be roping in the lights of Las Vegas, Nev. but will cheer on his 19 year old son, Jr. Dees who has qualified for his first trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo come December.
Kaitlin Gustave: You won the #12 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. What were your thoughts going into the short round?
Ree Dees: Well, I was excited because the guy that I won with, I keep my horse at his place and we’re good friends from way back. You know, you like to win but it’s a double when you win with somebody that you’ve been doing it all together.
KG: Do you and Joe Mike Clem rope together often?
RD: Yes, I moved from Texas in August and I keep my horses at his place.
What is your head number?
RD: My head number is a 6.
KG: Outside of roping what’s your full-time job?
RD: I ride horses— I train and break horses. With Joe Mike, we train horses and I help get them ready—that’s part of my job.
KG: Can you tell me a little about your family?
RD: My dad graduated from college as an animal science pre-vet major. He did a lot of roping on the outside, and that was when he did the knot roping. Then when I started roping about 43 years ago my dad built us a roping arena. I have a brother that’s two years older than me. He’d head some and I would heel, then he would heel and I would head. I’m married. My wife, Nina and I have been together 25 years. We have a 22-year-old, an 19-year-old and a 17-year-old. Our 17-year-old, she runs barrels—she’s a pretty good cowgirl. Our 22-year-old, she got out of it. She has a son that turned 2 on May 21, and I turned 52 years old. He loves roping and he loves Jr.— matter of fact, he was in Houston and San Antone. Even though she isn’t into it I think her boy is going to be.
KG: Your son Jr. is qualified for his first trip to the WNFR, and you are qualified for the World Series finale. That must be pretty exciting.
RD: It is! When I got qualified I called Jr., he was the first person I called, and I said, ‘Son I’m coming to watch you and I’m roping also.’ We were going to be there anyway. It’s always a life changing place to go to. So we just thank God that we’re able to be able to go.
KG: What are you going to do in preparation for Las Vegas ?
RD: I’m just going to keep my horse in shape and keep practicing—just keep doing what we’re doing. With the World Series, I’ve got this horse, I’m riding one of Joe Mike’s horses and I have my own but his does good with the World Series set-up. We’re just really thankful to go. We have a couple more qualifiers, so I’m going to try to qualify in another one so we’ll see. Joe Mike, he’s made it twice. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and keep God first—that’s my deal.