Number and End: Elite 5 header
Rope of Choice: Rattler GT4, extra soft
Association of Preference: I’ve had the most success in the World Series of Team Roping, I really like their start. But I really like all the associations, the 40+ Team Roping Association and the USTRC. I’m not against any of them.
Biggest Win: I guess it was this past weekend at the Heartland #9. I’ve been roping since I was 33, and I’m 55 now, and you don’t get many chances to be high callback in that type of big-money venue. The guy I rope with, Bill Cantwell, he’s from South Texas. We’re just friends, and we don’t get to rope together except when he comes up here. We aren’t serious competitors together, we just like to go out and have fun. It’s kind of special to win it with a good friend.
Favorite Roping: My favorite roping is our local county roping put on by the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse. I look forward to it more than anything.
Why You Rope? It’s just the competition. I’m driven by the competition. I don’t consider myself a cowboy. It’s just the camaraderie and competition of the event. I probably wouldn’t even own a horse if I didn’t rope.
Best Horse You’ve Ever Owned: My favorite horse is Rocky. I still own him, he’s 15. He’s just one of those horses that never quits you. He’s cost me money being too quick out of the corner, and he’s not the best I’ve ever had, but he’s my favorite. I like the horse I won the Heartland on, they call him Maverick. I’ve only had him about a month. He’s a 9-year-old roan gelding, and I bought him off of Craigslist.
Family: My son, Ryan Nolen, is 30, and he ropes. He’s an 8 heeler, and we won third in the #13 last weekend in Alvarado. He started when he was 10, and he’s a higher number now, so he doesn’t get to rope as much. My daughter Whitney is 26, and she loves the beach, she doesn’t rope at all. She and my wife Linda are best friends, and they travel all over together. They go on cruises and to New York. We’re all sports fanatics, and we love going to Rangers games. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan, too.
Competition Philosophy: I don’t think about anything but one steer at a time. You either have faith or fear in life, and that applies to my roping, too. I’ve seen guys at ropings with fear written all over their faces, and I’ve been there in life, too. But I just apply my faith like the Bible says, and at the end of the day, I still get to go home anyways.
Real Job: I just retired from the Fort Worth Fire Department after 36 years, and I just spend my time now roping and hunting. I love bow hunting as much as I love roping, so I love being able to do that.