Meet Sponsored Rider: Chris Ford
Watching the glorious sunrises and sunsets, unhindered by twinkling city lights, and the quiet peace of country living is where we can find one of our Sponsored Riders, Chris Ford. Life in DeBerry, Texas, population 3,000, is full of pastures with plenty of room to let the kids run free and plenty of room to rope some steers. At 32 years old, Chris lives with his amazing wife, Casandra, and their two beautiful daughters, Caylee and Camryn. (This clan has a thing for “C’s.”) Most days you can find Chris welding oil pipelines in the great heat of Texas, but in his spare time he likes to rope or go fishing with his girls. “My dad, Richard Ford, is who got me interested in roping. He started when I was about six, and, already having a love for horses and wanting to be just like my dad, it felt natural for me to want to rope.” Although Chris started roping at a young age, he openly admits that learning to rope can be difficult. “The hardest part about learning to rope is the time and patience required, and understanding that you are going to fail. For a beginner, the best advice I could give is you get what you put into it. Understand that failure will happen, but learn from your mistakes. Stay positive and keep God first.” Chris says that he usually keeps that positive mind set with laughter, which is easy to come by at his roping events where he is the one cracking all the jokes. “I love the friendship of Rodeo. One of the main sports where your competition will help you win and cheer you on.”
Chris competes in Team Roping in several local rodeos but likes to dream big: a chance to compete with his Dad and two best friends, Robbie Reid and John Hight, at the World Series Final in Vegas. Who can blame him? We would all love to hang with the big boys and ride horses for a living! When asked about his best run, he humbly replies that he has been five seconds flat many times. Chris likes the pressure in the arena, knowing that you sometimes have to push yourself beyond your own limits and hope that your mind does not get the best of you. “I love the competition of the sport…I really love pushing myself to be better and having fellow competitors and friends there helping you.” When gearing up for his runs Chris says that he isn’t so much nervous as just practicing a technique an old friend taught him, “go at each steer just like it’s your first round steer.” Chris is all concentration right before his run. “I never watch the run before me in competition. Usually I tell myself a few things as I’m walking into the box and I feel like if I watch them rope I will lose my focus.” As added superstitious insurance, you won’t catch this cowboy wearing yellow in the arena or placing his cowboy hat on the bed. His methods seem to be working with terrific run times and all ten fingers in tact; although, there may have been a few close calls for fingers in the wrap.
Picking a favorite rope is a hard task for Chris since he really enjoys trying out different ones. Currently he is hooked on Fastback Natural, Instinct, and Mach 4’s. He has plenty of space to try out each rope in his parents’ new covered arena. Although currently just used for practice, Chris is gently hinting at possibly hosting some friendly events in the future. For now the arena serves as the perfect place for all of the family to practice their many different sports together. Chris says that he does not have much down time between welding and roping, but if you can’t find him in the arena he’ll be out fishing, building things, watching those sunsets and enjoying the good company of family and friends.
Written By: Kara Grimes
Photos by Burning Sky Photography
- Burge Linton