If you grew up with Cindy DeLancey, you might be shocked as heck to find an article about her in The Team Roping Journal and discover she’s living in Cheyenne, with her ropey husband and kids putting on jackpots and rodeos and doing all she can to promote the West and its heritage in Wyoming.
“I was raised on Long Island,” DeLancey revealed, though she pointed out that she’s now been in Wyoming about as long as she ever lived in New York. “I was raised by a small business owner and I’m a lawyer. I did my undergraduate in New York and came out West and went to the University of Wyoming College of Law.”
In a tale of pure Western romance, upon graduation, her father wanted to congratulate her with a gift. Influenced by her time spent in the Cowboy State, she chose a horse. She picked out a yearling that the seller, Dave, strongly advised her against. But she had a good eye and she got the horse and the cowboy, now her husband, her children’s father, and her partner in their many Western endeavors.
“Not only did Dave win a lot of money on him over the years,” DeLancey said about the horse, “but when my daughter was old enough to start junior rodeoing, she just cleaned house on him. So, to see our daughter so successful on the horse that started it all was really special for us.”
Today, the junior rodeo days have ended as their daughter is now college rodeoing at the University of Wyoming, but she and her brother spend the summers helping mom and dad produce everything from local jackpots to private events to their ongoing Hell on Wheels open rodeos.
“It’s our family business, if you will. My daughter announces. I do the books. My husband flags. My son takes the ropes off. We laugh and often call ourselves the Von Trapps of Team Roping and Rodeo because we’ve got everybody put to work.”
The DeLanceys regard roping and rodeo with respect and admiration, but the desire to produce these events is rooted in their commitment to the Cheyenne community, too.
“[When] you work with the ag community, hosting events and entertaining and being part of the hospitality industry, it is just so much fun to meet people from all over the country. And, it’s just really been so positive and, and so rewarding. We’re very committed to giving back and making sure that people have a positive understanding of agriculture, and really wanting to clear up any misperceptions.”
As the president of the Wyoming Business Alliance, DeLancey is well suited for the task of accommodating competitors, spectators and visitors from across the country and world who want to experience Wyoming’s historic and famed cowboy culture and rodeo history.
She’s also the first woman to be elected County and Prosecuting Attorney, has served on the Board of Law Examiners, was Special Assistant United State Attorney and has twice been nominated for the Wyoming’s Business Report’s Women of Influence award, among many other accolades.
“I spent a lot of time working in the Capitol, working on pro-business legislation,” DeLancey explained. “So yes, that’s my real job. All of the other things are, like the name of the article, other gigs.”
In addition to her real job and producing ropings and rodeos, the DeLanceys also own a feed store and a liquor store and have rental properties. Their most exciting endeavor, though, is the breeding program they’re developing at the ranch.
“Our stallion is Heza Fiery Flame and we have an up-and-comer, Stingin N Flashin, who’s a Field of Sting by a daughter of CS Flashlight, so we’re super excited about him,” said DeLancey, who sees the program as a long-term pursuit. “It’s not the kind of thing you build in a year. Having our eye on the ball and on these different opportunities is really a way to set our children up for success in a lifestyle that they love and we really want to keep going.”
It’s a theme the former East Coaster who moved West without knowing a single person shares regularly when she’s given the opportunity for public speaking.
“What I really tell people is you have to be open to the possibility. If somebody says to you, ‘You’re going to go to law school in Wyoming one day,’ and you go, ‘Oh, no way,’ [well,] you’ve got to have the mindset to think, ‘Maybe I will give that a try.’ I always encourage people to not foreclose something because it could be the most wonderful thing that ever happened by just embracing that opportunity and taking that risk.” TRJ