TOO RISKY

Spin to Win Rodeo - - Tr -

Rod Chumley is a 5 heeler from Se­lah, Wash­ing­ton, with way too many hot irons in the fire to find time to rope more than recre­ation­ally. His main mis­sion at the mo­ment is his thriv­ing Scout Lake Con­struc­tion Com­pany. Busi­ness is boom­ing, and has branched out to jobs in Mon­tana, Yel­low­stone Park and be­yond. Chumley is cur­rently build­ing a wine-tast­ing fa­cil­ity for for­mer NFL quar­ter­back Drew Bled­soe.

On the side, Chumley raises rope horses, bor­der col­lies and Pro­fes­sional Bull Rid­ers-cal­iber buck­ing bulls, in­clud­ing the no­to­ri­ous Doc­tor Proc­tor, as Chumley Cat­tle Co. Chumley bought the horse that would in­herit his name from Knut­son as a 2-year-old.

“He had just turned 2, and only had about five rides on him when I got him,” said Chumley, a life­long friend of the Mi­nor fam­ily who also counts 2008 World Cham­pion Heeler Ran­don Adams as one of his best friends. “He was never broncy, but was kind of owly on the ground with peo­ple he didn’t know. My daugh­ter was a lit­tle girl at the time, and liked to pet ev­ery­thing with­out warn­ing. My big­gest fear was that she would walk up and pet him on the belly and get into a wreck with him.”

That lit­tle girl, Emma, is 13 now, and is al­ready mak­ing head­lines as a bar­rel racer. Horse Chumley’s fear-based re­ac­tion to sud­den sur­prises was to pull back. Rod Chumley got the horse good and broke, then roped on him a lit­tle be­fore send­ing him on to Brady Mi­nor to pol­ish up his rough edges as a heel horse.

“He was still a lit­tle jumpy on the ground,” Rod Chumley said. “He hadn’t been han­dled much as a baby. But Brady got him go­ing good for me. We passed him back and forth. I’d rope on him awhile. Then Brady would take him back and tune him up for me.”

The horse’s nat­u­ral ta­lent was ob­vi­ous. But there came a risk-re­ward ra­tio Rod Chumley could no longer live with. So when Brady and wife Ashley got mar­ried in 2010, Rod put a bow on Chumley’s head and gave him to Brady as a wed­ding present.

“My daugh­ter was in love with horses, and she would come up to them so strong and never slow down,” Rod Chumley re­mem­bers. “I saw him jump back when she walked up one day, and I just couldn’t take the chance. It wasn’t his fault. But it also wasn’t some­thing I could live with if some­thing hap­pened to her.”

Rod didn’t ac­tu­ally raise Chumley. But on an in­ter­est­ing side note, he is the listed breeder on Ri­ley Mi­nor’s back-to-back re­serve Amer­i­can Quar­ter Horse As­so­ci­a­tion Head Horse of the Year, Bob, who’s 16 now and av­er­ages 60 rodeos a year. Northwest header Bob Mo­ri­arty had that horse be­tween Rod and Ri­ley.

“Every breeder has his own recipe,” Chumley said. “My goal with my horses is that I want a con­trolled mind, a big mo­tor and a big stop. I’ve ba­si­cally worked to cre­ate a very ath­letic, sen­si­ble horse. I don’t want a hot, stingy, crazy-wired horse. I want one that’s good to be around.”

There’s also a Rod Chumley con­nec­tion to the buck­skin horse—Buck—that helped raise Jake Mi­nor.

“Brady and Ri­ley’s dad, Brent, started that horse,” Rod said. “I bought him from Brent when he was 4. I roped on him a cou­ple years, Jake was com­ing on strong and didn’t have a good enough horse, so I sold him to Jake.”

Rod Chumley’s been too busy tend­ing to busi­ness to ven­ture out to rop­ings in re­cent times, but has high hopes to find more time to hit some jack­pots with friends in 2018.

“I love to rope,” he said. “I ride my young horses and rope at home every chance I get. I don’t know Cory per­son­ally, but I’ve fol­lowed that horse and have a sense of pride about it. I watched that horse every sin­gle night at the Fi­nals on TV, and it was fun to think that I used to heel on him. I knew he was good. It makes me happy to see where he’s been able to go. He never could have got­ten this far with me rid­ing him. They don’t get any bet­ter than Cory.”

DAN HUBBELL PHOTO

BRENT PALMER AND JAKE MI­NOR WON THE FIRST ROUND AT THE 2013 COL­LEGE NA­TIONAL FI­NALS RODEO WITH MI­NOR RID­ING CHUMLEY, BACK WHEN JAKE WAS RODEO­ING FOR WALLA WALLA COM­MU­NITY COL­LEGE IN WASH­ING­TON.

KIRT STEINKE PHOTO

CORY CAME TIGHT ON HIS FIRST GOLD BUCKLE IN 2017, AND SAYS IT’S NO CO­IN­CI­DENCE THAT CHUMLEY IS THE BEST HORSE HE’S EVER RID­DEN.

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