Chad Masters

Horses have always been part of Chad Master’s life. He grew up with his father, Bobby, roping calves and they showed horses as well. When Chad was eight-years-old, Bobby started team roping and so did Chad.

Bobby worked for Pepsi, and his mother, Debbie, worked for the post office. Debbie spent many evenings opening the roping chute so they could practice. All of that practice has paid off for Chad as he is now going to compete at his 11th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Along the way, there have been injuries, many horses, and team roping partners that have affected his journey. He won world championships in the heading in 2007 and again in 2012. He is closing in on the $2 million in career earnings in the PRCA.

While the success has helped him earn a living and accomplish his goals, he is humble and is always looking for ways to improve.

This year he has been roping with Travis Graves from Jay, Oklahoma. July was very good to them as they earned titles at the West of the Pecos (Texas) Rodeo and the big California Rodeo Salinas.

180 Masters-Graves
Chad roping on “Clint” at Cheyenne Frontier Days with Travis Graves, his current partner. photo by Dan Hubbell

None of this would have been possible without great equine partners. This year, Chad has been riding Madison Oak, an 11-year-old sorrel gelding that he calls Clint. Chad got Clint when he was four years old. The horse had a little experience in tie-down roping. Chad started heading on him and Clint took to the team roping like he had been born to do it. Chad’s peers thought so too and voted him as the AQHA/PRCA Team Roping Heading Horse of the Year.

One on One with the Wrangler NFR Contestant – Chad Masters

Favorite movie: Silverado – It was the first western I watched as a kid and I love paint horses. Jake (Kevin Costner) rode a paint and I loved that.

Favorite current TV show: Ridiculousness – Rob Dyrdek makes me laugh.

Dogs or cats: Dogs – I don’t have a dog right now because I feel like it’s too hard on them to have when you are rodeoing and gone all the time. I’d like to have a working dog someday.

Favorite dessert: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – They are everywhere. There is always an opportunity to eat a Reese’s.

Favorite card or board game: I’ve never really been a game player.

Favorite sport, other than rodeo: Golf. Those guys are really talented and I can’t imagine the hours that they spend practicing

If you weren’t in rodeo, what would you be doing:  I would have to train horses and if it didn’t have anything to do with a horse, I’d be interested in being a carpenter.

Best childhood memory: Finally winning my first saddle. I was super close a bunch of times, and finally won Southeastern finals of U.S. Roping in Lexington, Kentucky when I was 14. I roped with a good family friend of ours, Don Silver.

Favorite thing you like about Las Vegas: Amazes me that someone had the vision for the city and for the NFR here. When I load up and leave, and am driving I love to show up when it’s dark. When you get over the Hoover Dam and see all the lights, that’s when the nerves start to kick in and I get excited.

What do you like to do in your spare time: I like to stay busy, so when I have some spare time I’m usually doing chores around the place. When you’re gone all the time, it’s just nice to be doing things at home.

Music: I listen to whatever – pop, country. If you travel long enough, you work your way through lots of music.

Best horse you’ve ever ridden: I had two of them at the same time, Cody and Stranger. They complimented each other well. It was a good feeling to be prepared for any situation. They were both versatile and each one had strong points.  They both were instrumental in my first gold buckle. We got them as yearlings and they were always together. My dad bought Cody from the Pitzer Ranch sale in Nebraska. Stranger was given to me by John and Misty Tutor. We showed a horse for them. He was a beautiful big black stallion. Stranger was a full brother to him.

Cody – “Best horse I’ve ever ridden”


What would people be surprised to learn about you: I’m a bit of a freak about my barn being clean and I like to have my trailer clean and organized.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young rodeo competitor, what would it be: Go to college. You’ve got plenty of time to rodeo. I left home when I was 20 or 21 thinking I had to rodeo. I made the finals when I was 22, but never really progressed until I was 25. I would have had plenty of time to go to college and have that experience.

If you could live anywhere where would it be: I’d love to go home and live in Tennessee. I live at Lipan (Texas) because it’s easier for my career, but Tennessee will always be home.

chad tennessee
Chad Masters will always call Tennessee home. After the 2017 NFR, he will have made 100 laps around the Thomas and Mack arena carrying the state flag. Photo by Dan Hubbell

Facebook or Twitter – I try to put all my energy towards roping and not have any outside distractions like social media.

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