How to teach a cowboy new tricks
Mote, Crawford lend rodeo advice, instruction to each other
Don't let the standings fool you. Bobby Mote, known across the sport of rodeo as a world-class bareback rider, has been competing in team roping for the past few years. Currently, he is ahead of world-class team roper Charly Crawford in the recent standings for the Columbia River Circuit.
But the season is young - with the bulk of the rodeo season taking place during the next two months - so both Mote and Crawford will have plenty of time to firmly establish themselves in the events they're known for: bareback riding and team roping, respectively.
But Mote, a resident of Culver, is looking to pick up team roping as a header, and has been practicing it for about five years now. Until last year, however, Mote has been involved in team roping events for the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association).
"You can only nod your head so many times on something that bucks," said the bareback rider. "The neat thing about rodeo is that it's giving me the connections with the best team ropers in the world. Guys starting out don't have that opportunity. Hopefully, it will put me on the fast track to where I'd like to be."
One of those team ropers that Mote has connections with is Crawford, a Prineville resident. Crawford says the two have been helping each other out for the past three years, as Crawford helps Mote with roping, while Mote helps Crawford with the mental aspect of rodeo.
"The good thing about team roping is you can do it a little longer than your rough stock events," Crawford said. "Bobby (Mote) is doing a good thing. It's so hard on your body and it's so hard to stay in the rodeo (in bareback).
"When he does team roping, he's going to have a great career, so it's smart that he's getting into it now. And he is getting better at team roping."
While Mote currently sits in first in bareback in the circuit standings, he also sits in 15th in the team roping standings as a header.
"I love seeing him win," Crawford added. "I just saw him win and that tickles me more than anything."
And while performing at the Charly Crawford Team Equine Classic, a team roping event that took place at the Crook County Fairgrounds on June 2-4, Mote roped his way to $1,685 in prize money.
"Charly's in a whole different stratosphere as far as team roping goes," Mote said about Crawford. "He's grown up, dedicated his life to be a world team roper and that's what he is.
"He's helped me a lot. That's been a real good outlet for me to have him as a teacher."
Unfortunately, the teacher won't be present at this year's 61st annual Crooked River Roundup at the Crook County Fairgrounds. Crawford could not be reached at press deadline. The PRCA office in Colorado Springs, Colo., speculated the Prineville cowboy's absence from the Roundup may have something to do with a new heeling partner. According to the PRCA, Allen Bach of Weatherford, Texas, who is currently ranked fourth in the world standings, will take over as heeling partner, replacing Richard Durham of Poolville, Texas.
Mote, who is entered and will compete only in bareback, will have plenty of chances to take in some of the expert team roping that will be on hand at the fairgrounds.
For Mote, who was born in Portland, the Prineville rodeo and the Sisters Rodeo are the unofficial "hometown" rodeos for him.
"I enjoy the atmosphere here," Mote said about the Roundup. "There's some good tradition, good rodeoing, good stock. All those things make it something I enjoy coming to."
Although Mote won't compete in team roping, with a teacher like Charly Crawford, don't expect him to be sitting on the fence for too much longer.