At just 14 years old, CALVIN TAYLOR not only led the Open heading standings against high-school seniors, but is the highest-ranking qualifier switching ends at the Finals—and is the best-spoken of all the standings leaders.
The kid from El Paso will head for Sterlin English in the Open, a year after the pair placed at the 2017 -unior NFR. As of October, Taylor hadn’t yet decided who he’d heel for in the #10. But he said if his little brother Callahan happened to get qualified at the last minute, he planned to team with him. Callahan is 7. That’s right, 7 years old.
“He’s been spinning them for me,” said Calvin. “They just moved him to a 4. I wasn’t a 4 until I was 9!”
Actually, Calvin has grown 4 inches in the past year and improved from his 5/4.5 classifications to his current 6.5/straight-6.
“He was always kind of small, so we nev- er let him get into the reaching and ducking yet,” said his dad, Calvin Sr. “If you’re not strong enough to be as fast as the big boys, you can beat them with consistency.”
“Little Calvin” has done just that aboard his two head horses (one for short setups and one for long scores) and two heel horses. His number-one head horse is likely Roany, a super-fast gelding that came off a ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The Taylors live just 150 yards from the Rio Grande, about 15 miles outside El Paso.
“El Paso is a neat town,” Calvin said. “Folmers moved away before I got going, but Bode Baize taught me a lot. He comes over and ropes with us almost every day, and his dad, Wayne, has helped with my roping a bunch. He’s always coached me, and I’ve gotten horses from him that were really good.”
Calvin decided in 2018 to chase his -unior NFR dreams over competing at junior-high rodeos. Plus, Calvin Sr., is a World Series roping producer.
“I’m a jackpotter at heart,” said Little Calvin. “I do amateur-rodeo a pretty good amount, but I like jackpotting and grew up going to all the jackpots around town. I like going to World Series ropings, like the #14 and the USTRC Finals.”
He’s always been home-schooled, receiving instruction from his mom and his aunt—and getting plenty of roping tips from Calvin Sr. and -ohn English.
“Mr. -ohn hauled me this summer to Reno and a bunch of other ropings,” Calvin said. “He made it happen for me this year.”
There are seven Taylor kids, of which Calvin is the fourth. They board horses and raise corrientes, and so does Calvin’s sister’s family. So, the extended family has 200–300 fresh steers available at any given moment. They practice about four times a week, saddling eight to 12 head of horses each time.
In Las Vegas, the -unior NFR won’t be the only stop for Calvin Taylor. He’ll head for his dad in the #14 at the Finale.