By Mickey Winfield: Freedom Newspapers
David Moseley shoes horses in Texico. His wife, Cassie, is an X-ray tech and radiation therapist at Clovis’ cancer center.
They also moonlight on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association tour. David is a calf-roper and Cassie is a barrel racer.
Cassie is in her first year on the tour, and is currently in the lead for the organization’s rookie of the year award.
“She’s in the spotlight,” David said. “She’s winning rookie of the year right now and there’s a big bonus at the end of the year for winning rookie of the year.”
That bonus would be a welcome payday for a couple that tries to make ends meet in an expensive career — life on the PRCA Tour.
“It depends on how much you win,” David said. “If you’re going to the smaller rodeos and, say you win one thousand bucks a week, you will just barely cover expenses.”
Expenses range from hay and grain for the horses to gas for the vehicles and rodeo entry fees.
“You’re looking at a couple hundred dollars every time you fill your pickup up,” David said. “Your entry fees are anywhere from $100 to $500 depending on the rodeo you go to.”
Dora graduate and former Eastern New Mexico Zia Brittany Hofstetter is on the tour as well. In fact, Hofstetter said pulling a heavy horse trailer reduces her truck’s mileage to seven miles to the gallon. Last week, she averaged about 480 miles per day and paid more than $800 in entry fees.
“It’s really expensive but it’s just something that once you start, it’s almost addictive,” Hofstetter said. “You can’t quit, there’s just something about it.”
Most rodeo cowboys and cowgirls strive to earn a corporate sponsorship to defray touring costs and earn a comfortable living.
“Sponsorships are huge,” Hofstetter said. “That’s really the only thing that makes it affordable. That’s the only way people make money out here.”
David Moseley said he tries to make 100 to 125 rodeos each year.
“Anybody that loves rodeo would love to be able to just do it full-time,” Cassie said. “I also work though, so I’m not really getting to go at it as hard as these other girls are going at it.”
“It’s tough,” David said. “If you don’t win you don’t have any money coming in. That’s why a lot of people have other jobs that they do to try to make a living at it and make enough money just to get down the road. If you’re having a good year, you don’t have to worry about that.”
Cassie is having a good year. Earlier this month, Cassie won two PRCA rodeos in the same week, in Lovington and Lawton, Okla., earning a total of about $7,100.
“If you win like that, you’re going to make a little money,” David said.
“When you win, you’re going to win enough to offset everything,” Cassie said. “But there’s going to be times that you don’t win.”
While David hasn’t made any money on the tour this year, he said Cassie has earned about $20,000 — including $5,500 at a rodeo in Guyman, Okla.
“When Cassie kind of got started off at the first of this year, and she started doing good, I basically kind of just sat on the sidelines and just drove her and helped her get there so she can make the finals this year.”