Moffat County cowboys place at national rodeo
December 3, 2001
By ELWOOOD K. SHELTON
Daily Press writer
For eight years, David From and Wes Hertzog have logged thousands of miles and hundreds of falls together on the National Senior Pro Rodeo circuit.
In that time, Hertzog has been crowned world champion saddle bronc rider five times, and all-around cowboy once. The 2001 season was no different than years past, because Hertzog added another world title to his rodeo resume not surprisingly in saddle bronc.
From hasn’t ever won a world championship, but he’s been close.
He’s been runner up a number of times, and almost always to Hertzog. This year was one of the best finishes the 46-year-old From has had, winning the second go-around at the National Senior Pro Rodeo Championship in Reno, Nev., and ending up in third place on average.
Don’t let the third place fool you, because it doesn’t Hertzog.
Within a year, expect to see From wearing his world championship belt buckle, Hertzog said.
“Come next year, I look for David to win the championship, and I’m sincere in saying that,” said Hertzog, who is only a few weeks from his 50th birthday. “He’s just about due to win it all.”
The two Moffat County cowboys have rodeoed all their lives, working up from junior rodeos to the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association, and ending up in the Senior Pro Rodeo Circuit.
Until entering the senior circuit, the two didn’t really know each other.
“I knew of David, because I rodeoed with his older brother,” Hertzog said. “But, it wasn’t until about eight years ago when I joined the senior pro circuit that I really got to know him.”
The two saddle bronc riders have since ranged most of the Western U.S. and Canada, traveling thousands of miles all in the name of rodeo.
Though the two put their friendship aside when sitting astride a bucking bronco, they both admit that their friendship hasn’t suffered because of the competition.
“Rodeo is a different kind of sport,” Hertzog said. “You go to each rodeo to win, but the thousands of miles you travel with someone makes for a pretty tight friendship. You can always count on those at a rodeo to help you.”
The two cowboys traveled to more than 60 rodeos this year, both working to be one of the top 14 points leaders.
As in years past, both made it to Reno.
In the pro senior circuit, the competition isn’t easier, but there’s less of it. And that old arena dirt just ain’t what it used to be.
“For one thing, the ground is a hell of a lot harder,” From said. “And when you hit that hard ground it takes some more time to heal than it once did.”
For many rodeo cowboys, senior years are reserved for perfecting the couch potato position and plenty of late-life apathy. But these two cowboys are too young at heart to give up the sport they love.
“There’s too much desire left in us to quit, and it keeps us young. If you still have the desire to do a sport there’s no reason to get out,” From said. “Or maybe hitting the ground so many times in a life knocked some sense out of our heads.”