Flash Staff Report
(August 5, 2017) — An athletic background and, of course, natural athletic ability make it easier for some to take up a new sport than others.
Jon Clark Giddings is such an athlete, having been an all-state football player and a pole vault qualifier for the UIL Track & Field State Meet during his senior year (2014-15) at Stephenville High School.
Giddings even flirted with the idea of pole vaulting at the University of Oklahoma, where his dad, local dentist Clark Giddings, once was a member of the Sooner baseball team.
Rodeo is a sport, and there is nothing un-athletic about tie-down roping, where besides just cleanly roping the head of a calf, the athlete must get off the horse and to the calf before applying the wrap and hooey.
Marty Yates is ranked fifth in the PRCA world standings in the event. He won Cheyenne Frontier Days in 2015, and just this past week PRCA rookie Lane Livingston, another Stephenville cowboy, won Cheyenne, ‘The Daddy of Them All,’ as it is called.
You can’t say Yates and Livingston aren’t athletes.
So how athletically inclined is Giddings? Enough so that he took up roping out of the blue and six months later won his first tie-down competiton, according to information and a photograph published to Facebook on July 20 by Stephenville Equine Sports Medicine.
That’s right, Giddings decided in January to give roping a try, despite having not rode a horse since he was a child. Because, what better place to suddenly decide you want to give rodeo a try than right here, the Cowboy Capital of the Word.
First Giddings began to ride every day, and, not just one horse, but as many as he can. Increasing his horseman skills was only part of the battle, of course, as he also had to learn to swing a rope then to “rope a neck slick,” get off ‘Charlie’ and tie one down in as little time as possible.
On Juy 18, Giddings attended his first roping at Will Parker’s Arena, and against many there who had roped and tied for years, it was the athlete with the determination to learn the trade in six short months, who earned the victory.
Stephenville Equine Sports Medicine finished the post saying they are “super proud of this team! Jon Clark and Charlie are great reminders of when you set your heart out to accomplish something and give it all you have, the sky is truly the limit on how far you may go.”