Climbing the Ladder: Baggs cowboys continues with rodeo successWritten by Saige Albert
Grieve was awarded the prestigious title of All-Around Cowboy at the Wyoming High School Finals Rodeo, held in Douglas on June 20 – 24.
“I’ve been rodeoing since I was really little, since I was five or six,” comments Grieve, who competes in tie down calf roping, cutting and as a header in team roping. “I like team roping the best.”
From the beginning
Garrett’s parents, Pat and Anita Grieve, have been strong supporters of his rodeo career and have coached him from the beginning.
“I’ve been trying to teach Garrett the proper fundamentals since he was little,” says Pat. “A lot of rodeo kids practice a lot, but they practice improper fundamentals.”
“We’ve shown him the correct fundamentals and supervise, so if things start to go haywire, we can correct it,” he adds.
By correcting errors in Grieve’s technique before he learns skills incorrectly, Grieve has been able to perform consistently and correctly, notes Pat.
Grieve has also been very involved in the family ranch since childhood, which allows him to practice daily. The Grieve’s are involved in training their own horses, particularly heading horses.
“We buy horses young and ride them on the ranch,” Pat notes. “Garrett has put in a lot of miles, and he ropes every day.”
A steady progression
“Everything is a step-by-step process,” explains Pat. “You have to start at one level and go to the next.”
Grieve started his trek up the ladder by competing in 2006 with the Wyoming Junior Rodeo Association event and was awarded the title of All-Around Cowboy at that level.
He received the same honor at the junior high level, placing as reserve All-Around Cowboy at the National Junior High Finals in Gallup, N.M. in 2009, as well as the national team roping champion award.
“He took the next step into high school, and Garrett and his partner were reserve in team roping when he was a freshman, and last year they were state champions,” says Pat. “If he works hard and has good fundamentals, we hope he will have a lot of success next year in high school and at the amateur level.”
At the Wyoming High School Rodeo Finals this year, Grieve says, “My team roping partner and I knew what we had to do when we got to state, we went in with confidence, and we got it done.”
Grieve adds that while many high school rodeo contestants partner with someone different each year, he has roped with Coley Nicholls of Kinnear for the last four years.
“We know each other’s styles,” he explains. “I know what he needs and he knows what I need – that’s nice.”
The pair roped their way to a Wyoming High School Rodeo Finals championship, and Grieve placed first in the tie down calf roping as well.
“Garrett also competed in the cutting this year,” adds Pat. “The Johnson family in Casper allowed him to borrow a horse to compete.”
With the National High School Finals Rodeo coming in July, Grieve has continued to train, saying, “I need to focus on the goal ahead, set my mind to it and keep practicing.”
To stay involved in the competitive realm, Grieve will practice for a week before heading to Shawnee, Okla. to the International Finals Youth Rodeo.
While Grieve is too young to compete in the professional sphere yet, he hopes to compete in the pro rodeo circuit after high school.
“Garrett is just a junior in high school, and he can’t compete at the professional level until he turns 18,” explains Pat. “He’ll stay in the high school rodeos, and we’ll encourage him to compete in amateur rodeos until then.”
Grieve is active in other extracurricular activities at Little Snake River Valley High School and was a member of the state champion basketball and football teams this year as well.
“We put in a lot of work,” adds Pat. “Garrett puts in a tremendous amount of time and commitment, and it works.”
High school finalists to continue at nationals
With the Wyoming High School Finals Rodeo complete, competitors from around Wyoming will compete in 17 categories at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs on July 15 – 21.
The 2012 Wyoming national qualifiers can be found at wyhsra.org.