Rodeo Club Member Highlight

Mike Berg

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Interview By Erica Sinclair 

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Name: Farris Smith

Major: Animal Science

Home Town: Taylorsville, California

First Horse: “A miniature horse named Maggy when I was really little; then I graduated to a horse named Joe.”

Current Horse: “Fairly Tipsy, aka Tipsy”

First Rodeo: Taylorsville Junior Rodeo at age 4

How did you get into rodeo? “I was reluctant at first, after a sheep ‘nearly broke my back’. I was a bit melodramatic, but my parents encouraged me to keep going and now I love it.”

Rodeo Hero: “My brother and my dad. They pushed me to get better and taught me that rodeo is 90% mental strength.”

Favorite Event: Breakaway Roping

Pre-Event Rituals: “I always put on chapstick right before I ride into the arena, and I have three designated ‘rodeo jeans.’”

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How do you handle school and traveling for rodeo: “It’s a bit like an addiction. When you want to succeed bad enough, you find a way to make it work. The good runs keep you hooked and coming back for more. They make up for the bad runs.  My professors are also really supportive. A good traveling partner to study with is also key.”

What has rodeo taught you? “To be positive. At the end of the day, a bad run doesn’t define who you are as a competitor.  As long as you can be encouraging toward others and positive about yourself, things will turn around. You’ve just got to believe in yourself and your abilities.”