In this audio edition of The Score Podcast, G.R. Schiavino reads ‘Heading and Healing‘, a story she wrote with the trust of retired Las Vegas Police Officer Greg Ziel.
To briefly recap, 22 years of serving the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department left a traumatic mark on Ziel. Events like an officer-involved shooting and the unspeakable experiences of undercover work led to an attempted suicide by Ziel in 2011. In 2014, he fell victim to uncontrollable fits of rage that finally, and bravely, inspired him to seek the tools and help he needed from his department.
Ziel’s medical retirement followed, and he continued to serve his community through his faith as a chaplain in the department. When a deranged shooter opened fire on unassuming Las Vegas concertgoers at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival, as a chaplain, it was Ziel who provided help to his fellow first responders suffering from the impacts of that tragedy.
But even men of God are still just men. Ziel encountered numerous PTSD triggers in every Las Vegas neighborhood he visited and struggled to carry the harrowing stories of his counterparts. Then, at his wife Angela’s encouragement, Ziel found healing with horses.
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This episode is presented by Cactus Ropes.
The team at Cactus are ranchers, ropers, rodeo contestants and horse enthusiasts who take pride in blending traditional team rope making artistry with technical innovations to produce the industry’s best equipment.
Cactus has had many great individuals influence the team rope making process over the years starting with Cactus Jack, Jacky and Rob Stephenson, Joe Mathews, Barry Berg, and Mike Piland. Clay O’Brien Cooper, Jake Long, Chad Masters, Riley Minor, Matt Sherwood, Nick Sartain, Lari Dee Guy, Hope Thompson, Stran Smith along with many other team ropers, breakaway roper, and tie-down ropers have lent their professional expertise time and time again to help the master rope makers at Cactus hone their craft.
One of the greatest opportunities for the Cactus crew was the partnership with the GOAT (Greatest of All Time). For the last decade Trevor Brazile, the King of the Cowboys, has been working with Cactus Ropes to design the best feeling head and heel team ropes on the market. Trevor’s Relentless attention to detail coupled with the team rope design team at Cactus resulted in not only the creation the best selling Relentless line of team ropes and calf ropes, but a positive effect on the quality of all Cactus products, from ropes and sports boots to horse blankets.
Today many of the original cast of the Cactus start-up are still pushing the yellow and green every day in the rope shop in Pleasanton, TX. Mike Piland is the head of public relations, Barry is the general manager, and Rob is making sure every team rope is perfectly coiled. The Cactus Crew has stuck together for knocking on thirty years now with no signs of slowing down in the future.