Archive for Thursday, April 21, 2005

Just horsing around

April 21, 2005

Dale Morrison has been around horses all of his life, but the competitive nature and camaraderie lassoed him into team roping.

"I tried it and fell in love with it," he said.

For the past 15 years, Morrison has been competing across the country as a team roper. He competes as often as twice a month traveling to Topeka, Lawrence and as far as Oklahoma City.

In team roping, two people work together to rope a steer. One person takes care of roping the head of the steer and the other ropes his back feet.

Throughout the years, Morrison has won many competitions and brought home many saddles and belt buckles as prizes. Though he doesn't take all of the credit, he said a lot of his success rides on the quality of the horse.

"You like watching your horse work," he said. "You want to put a good horse under you."

Morrison has three horses. He has had 14-year-old Gray for six years. He acquired 11-year-old Bear three years ago. His most recent acquisition is 15-year-old Chatch, whom he bought a year ago.

Morrison said it was best to start training a horse when it is about 3 or 4 years old.

"You hope you choose right when they are young," he said.

More valuable than the awards Morrison's received are the friendships he's developed over the years.

He works a lot with his friend Mark Linaweaver, and his son Chad also ropes. Morrison said he got to be close friends with his frequent competitors.

"You will never see anyone root against you," he said. "They just hope you don't do anything better than they do."

Name: Dale Morrison

Address: 1221 Gilman Rd.

Occupation: Office manager for the Greenamyre family

Graduate of: Rising Sun High School, Maryland

Family: Mother, Susie; wife, Debra; two sons, Chad, 14, and Justin, 23

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? It'll be a year May 1. I lived in Easton working in the hunter-jumper business, but we moved to Lansing for the better location for Debbie's business.

What do you like most about Lansing? I am a big fan of the schools and the proximity to Kansas City.

What do you do to relax? Team rope - it is a rodeo sport.

What would surprise people about you? Nothing. I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

What's the best advice you ever received? My father always told me, "When times are bad, it's never how hard you hit, but how high you bounce."

What organizations or clubs do you belong to? USTRA Team Roping championships

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