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Date:7/26/2014 7:36:29 AM
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FANCY'S PERCEPTIONS, Celebrate BlackHistory Month:
Professional rodeo cowboy & horse trainer, Fred Whitfield, born 8-5- 1967 in Houston, TX, became 1st African American cowboy 2 win world title in calf roping 1991 & top money earner in Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association 1992 & continued 2 break records.
Whitfield discovered roping @ age 5, watching @ the Moffitt family roping arena, Cypress, TX. Whitfield began roping @ age 7. His first horse was a Shetland pony, using an extension cord he roped mailboxes, chickens, goats, & his own mom around the neck & leg."
Whitfield started competing peewee rodeos @ age 9 winning his 1st competition. After his mom moved the family 2 Houston, he returned 2 Cypress 2 live with his aunt, 2nd his grandfather, & last Roy Moffitt. By age 12, he had won many saddles & trophies. Moffitt took Whitfield 2 rodeos & seeing Whitfield's natural talent, Moffitt made sure Whitfield's entry fees were paid. In the Houston Chronicle, Whitfield noted that economics have prevented most African American cowboys from competing in the pro circuit. He admitted, he could not compete in rodeos without Moffitt's help. With Moffitt, Whitfield was able 2 compete in over 40 rodeos.
Whitfield tried bull riding & steer wrestling, but enjoyed calf roping better. He played football until he entered high school & chose rodeo over football. Whitfield developed skills watching different ropers. He admired Roy Cooper of Childress, Texas, an 8-time world champion calf-roper & the all-around champion in 1983. Whitfield stayed at Cooper's home a few days 2 practice roping & became Cooper's friend & traveling partner.
1989, Whitfield joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association. 1990, Whitfield was the Cheyenne, Wyoming Frontier Days champion & qualified 4 the National Finals Rodeo. Whitfield won Resistol Rookie of the Year award & quit his job as lube distribution manager 4 Moffitt Oil Company 2 concentrate on his rodeo career. 1991, he broke the record 4 calf roping by bringing down & tying 10 calves in 91.70 seconds. Whitfield became the 1st African American 2 win a calf roping world championship. Earning more money than any calf roper in history of the National Finals Rodeo, $70,609 in the 10 days of the finals.
In 1993, Roy Cooper told Gavin Ehringer of Western Horseman Magazine, "Fred is the most athletic calf roper in the business--he's got great speed, strength, timing, & accuracy. When he's focused right & his horse is working good, he's unbeatable." Whitfield admitted that a good horse is critical in competition. Whitfield told Pro Rodeo Sports News that 2 "know your horse is going 2 score, run, stop & work, makes it easier 2 win."
Whitfield is an excellent role model 4 African American cowboys, hoping 2 encourage African American ropers 2 compete on a national level. Some of the rodeos Whitfield competes in are on the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo circuit.
(info obtained from &
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