High school rodeo star Chris McCuistion has two father figures showing him the ropes.
The first is his father, Marty, who was a prize-winning roper in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and has competed in the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo. The elder McCuistion taught the younger McCuistion how to become competitive in calf roping and ribbon roping.
The second is Will Gasperson, who earned three berths to the PRCA’s National Finals Steer Roping. Gasperson has taught Chris how to become a competitive team roper.
Today, Chris McCuistion is succeeding in calf roping, ribbon roping and team roping in the North Texas High School Rodeo Association.
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McCuistion’s versatility enabled him to clinch the NTHSRA’s 2013-2014 all-around cowboy title as the North Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals concluded its three-day run Sunday afternoon at Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
Madisen Goforth clinched the all-around cowgirl title. She also helped North Hills Private School snare the team title.
McCuistion, 18, is a Collinsville senior. He began roping competitively at 6 and he was tutored by his father.
“When I saw my dad win rodeos, it motivated me to follow his footsteps,” McCuistion said.
McCuistion said his father, who owns a concrete construction business, is devoted to helping him succeed.
“There are days that my dad gets up at 2 or 3 in the morning to go pour concrete at his construction business and then he’s back home in the afternoon to help me practice,” McCuistion said. “He does whatever my brother and I need him to do to help us win.”
McCuistion hones his roping skills on a daily basis. And when he is not practicing at home, he receives team roping pointers from Gasperson, who is from Decatur. While competing on the NTHSRA circuit, McCuistion partners with Gasperson’s son, Chase.
“I typically practice roping every night,” McCuistion said. “On Mondays, I give my calf roping horses a break from the weekend, and I go over to a practice team roping with Chase [Gasperson].”
While the boys rope steers, McCuistion is closely watched by Will Gasperson.
“Willie has taken me in like his own son,” McCuistion said. “He will tell me what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it, just like my dad does while I’m working on calf roping.”
McCuistion’s success has helped him earn a rodeo scholarship at Weatherford College, where he will be coached by Johnny Emmons, a five-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo tie-down roping qualifier. Emmons won the North Texas High School Rodeo Association calf roping titles in 1984 and 1985.
While competing for Weatherford College, McCuistion has aspirations of qualifying for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. He also dreams of winning a PRCA gold buckle.
Asked what drives him to succeed on the rodeo circuit, McCuistion said: “The desire to be a world champion like Trevor Brazile, or Cody Ohl, or Fred Whitfield or Roy Cooper and to have that type of name where everybody knows who you are, to have that type celebrity status.”