"Growing up, I come from a pretty good family of rodeo. My whole life I've been around it and I wanted to do it and I grew up doing it," explains first-time Professional Rodeo Cowboy, Stetson Vest.
You could say that the sport of rodeo runs through Stetson blood.
"I'm very fortunate that 60% of my family is out there on the road with me rodeoing, so I like that and I get to see them everywhere I go instead of leaving them back home."
He comes from a rodeo family who's western roots run deep.
"Without all the support, you can't rodeo. My family's been everywhere for the best. I'm one of the last ones to reach my goals in the rodeo career. With them behind me and pushing me forward makes me want to do it."
His lineage is pretty impressive. His grandfather, Clifton smith, set the pace for tie-down ropers. His uncle, Stran Smith, is a 10-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier and 2008 World Champion Tie-Down Roper.
He also claims relation to big names in the current circuit. Cousin, Shada Brazile, wife of 10-time World Champion All-Around Cowboy Trevor Brazile. Tuf and Clif Cooper are also cousins, and Stetson's following in his family's footsteps.
"Qualifying for the NFR is always your first goal as a stepping stone and then become the world champion after that. The excitement is there but it hasn't really hit me yet and I'm sure I'll get excited and nervous by the time I get in Las Vegas but I've got the best coaches out there that anyone could have going into the first finals, so I'm pretty pumped about that getting ready and preparing for it."
Stetson prepares mentally and physically before he backs his horse into the box to take on the 80-pound calf.
"I always want to be loose before I rope. I'm always stretching and all the old guys are like what are you doing over there and I'm stretching and trying to loosen up, and they're like I'm 40 years old and I ain't doing near as much as you are. I always want to get loose."
"I'm grateful for my family and friends and sponsors for all the support and I'm looking forward to having a good NFR this year."
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