Calgary Stampede Tie-Down Roping: Marty Yates a competitor to watch

Marty Yates is the youngest competitor in tie-down roping at this year's Calgary Stampede. (Mike Copeman/Calgary Stampede)

19-year-old Texan calls himself a 'run-and-gun' top roper

CBC News Posted: Jul 02, 2015 5:00 AM MT

A plain-spoken cowboy from Stephenville, Texas, has been winning since he first got on a horse. 

At 20, Marty Yates will be the youngest competitor in tie-down roping and one to watch.

About tie-down roping

The cowboy waits behind a barrier while the calf gets a three-metre head start. The cowboy then has to rope the calf, dismount, tie three of the calf's legs while the horse keeps the rope taut.

Time stops when the cowboy throws his hands in the air. Expect an explosive exit by the cowboy on horseback and a real partnership with his horse.

When did get get into rodeo?

Marty Yates is the youngest competitor in tie-down roping at this year's Calgary Stampede. (Mike Copeman/Calgary Stampede)

He calls is calf-roping, which went out of fashion so "folks wouldn't focus on the fact this is a baby calf."Yates is an up-and-comer in the world of tie-down roping, though don't expect him to use that "politically correct" name of it.

Yates, who is the youngest competitor in the field, says his break-out year came last year when he performed well at the National Finals Rodeo.

He was born into a rodeo family and learned to ride a horse "as soon as I could walk."  

"Whenever you're born into a rodeo family it's just something you do and you grow up doing," he said.

By age 11, Yates had won 38 saddles, 94 buckles and a horse trailer.

 

Thoughts on Calgary Stampede?

This is the first Calgary Stampede for Yates, who only went professional last year.

"If you don't tie up fast you ain't gonna win up there and I'm pumped about that because that's kind of my style. I'm a run-and-gun top roper," he said.

"It was awesome to get invited to the Stampede. I can't wait to get up there and rope those little calves."