By Thomas Garcia
QCS staff writer
A local 70-year-old rancher splits his time between tending 300 head of cattle, rebuilding a home and being ranked number one in calf and breakaway roping in the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association.
Jerry Koile is currently first in the NSPRA world rankings in 68-plus calf roping and non-sanctioned 70-plus breakaway roping.
“You have got to love it to do it,” Koile said.
Koile said his love for rodeo began when he was 16 living in Arizona. He said he started out bare back and bull riding. “That changed when I broke my arms,” Koile said.
Koile said he started competing in rodeos again two years ago, after a 25-year break.
“I got into other things,” Koile said. “My horse of five years, Silver, died and I lost interest.”
Koile said he missed the camaraderie of the rodeo, meeting people of all walks of life.
“You meet doctors, bankers, mechanics, truck drivers; all sorts of people who share a similar passion and compete in rodeo,” Koile said.
Koile said while he missed the people and the rodeo itself, he felt he could not return to rodeo until he was at a better place in his life.
Koile’s daughter, Kelby, said she spent the first two years of her life on the road with her father traveling to rodeos. She said growing up around the rodeo scene she knows many cowboys including her father were just happy to win their entry fee into the next event.
“You’re not in rodeo for the money,” Koile said. “You are in because you love it.”
Koile said one of the driving forces behind his continued success is his daughter and girlfriend continuing to push him.
“My father drives himself to these events,” Kelby Koile said. “He never complains about his aches and pains and continues to do what he loves.”
Koile said while her father says she is his driving force to success, she feels the same about him.
“Everything good I am today is because of him,” she said. “I am blessed and lucky he is my dad.”
Jerry Koile said his first year back in the rodeo scene was also his horse Rodeo Hot’s rodeo debut.
“It was our first time together and both of us were just as green,” Koile said. We ended the year ranked third in the calf roping standings.”
Koile said he is only halfway through the season and he plans to compete in 12 more rodeos before the Senior National Finals Rodeo Oct. 5-8 in Las Vegas, Nev.
The NSPRA is open to those 40-to-70 years old. There are nine sanctioned events: bareback, bull riding, calf roping, ladies barrel racing, ladies breakaway roping, ribbon roping, saddle bronc, steer wrestling, and team roping. Those events are broken into separate age groups (except for Ladies Breakaway which is 40-plus).
Koile’s next event will be on Aug. 5 at Vermillion, Alberta, Canada.
For more information on the NSPRA you can visit their website at www.senior