Lari Dee Guy has won every major all-girl team roping jackpot in the country and is a many-time Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Champion across the heading, heeling, breakaway roping and all-around. Already a legendary horsewoman and competitor, Guy was recognized January 16, 2020, with an induction into Fort Worth’s Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Tell me about your upbringing.
LDG: I was born and raised right here on my family’s ranch in Abilene, Texas. I grew up on a horse, working cattle and helping with the daily ranch tasks. I was an athlete, and I pursued basketball and roping. I was a pretty successful basketball player, and I had a few offers at college ball. But I went to Vernon College and Texas Tech to rodeo. It was what we did as a family, and it was just a part of day-to-day life that I never wanted to stop doing.
You’ve gotten quite the reputation as a rope horse trainer. At what point did you realize you had to start prioritizing your horsemanship?
LDG: There was never a single point. Even as a little kid, I always begged for young horses, and I always wanted to train horses. With my roping, that was the main thing I wanted to do. I saw it as a path to success and a way to make a living with a rope in the arena. That focus has paid off in a big way, and it’s something I’m extremely proud of.
When and how did promoting women in roping become a priority?
LDG: About six years ago, my friend approached me in Reno with an idea. She asked me, “Can you make the saying ‘Rope Like A Girl’ cool?” And I really didn’t know. I’d said ‘I roped like a girl today’ like it was a bad thing most of my
life. But the more I thought about it, I started realizing that being a girl, and roping, was so important. That opened the door to a whole lot more, and that initial vision drove me to look for ways every chance I could to promote the ladies of the sport.
Tell me about the best horse you’ve ever ridden.
LDG: I would have to say Trevor Brazile’s Texaco, because of his size and his grit. That was the horse Trevor made so famous, but I had spent a lot of time riding him before Trevor started rodeoing on him. He was so little, and so tough. He out-tried every other horse I’ve been on.
What is it about great gear that makes your job easier as a horsewoman?
LDG: My horses are athletes, and I ask them to try their hearts out every time I’m on them. I don’t let them skimp anywhere with their footwork, their scoring, their run. So I look at it the same way for myself. I don’t cut back on the quality products I use. That’s from my saddles, to my pads, ropes, bridles and boots. If I expect them to perform, I have to make it possible for them to use themselves to the fullest of their abilities every time. If I were to slack off on their care, I would see the results in the arena or, eventually, in my vet bills.
What does your induction into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame mean to you?
LDG: It’s an amazing honor. When you see the people in there—Trevor Brazile, Lane Frost, Wanda Bush—and you get to put your name among the greatest athletes in the business and the greatest businessmen, cowgirls and cowboys who’ve ever lived, it’s just unbelievable.
What are your goals for 2020?
LDG: My goals are to keep elevating the sport. I want to stay at the top of my game and keep getting better and better. The younger generation is getting better. I’ve got my big goals of winning certain things, but I want to keep getting better and elevate the sport and myself.