It’s unheard of for a pro rodeo cowboy to finish around the top in a world title race in both a roughstock and a timed event.
The last time that happened in a dramatic fashion on the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit was in 1972 when South Texan Phil Lyne won the world tie-down roping title and finished second in the bull riding race en route to winning the all-around title.
After that, being both a high profile timed and bucking stock rider became nonexistent in this age of specialization on the PRCA circuit.
It’s more apt to happen on a youth rodeo circuit, but it’s still a rarity even in that setting. However, North Texas High School Rodeo Association 2017 boys all-around champion Hadley Miller also is a competitor to be reckoned with in bucking stock and roping events.
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Miller, 16, a sophomore at Boyd High School, clinched both the 2017 bull riding and tie-down roping titles on his way to claiming the all-around title as the North Texas High School Rodeo Finals concluded its three-day run Sunday at Shepherds Valley Cowboy Church Arena.
Winning titles in both a roughstock and roping event is the rodeo equivalent to winning gold medals in boxing and basketball. Miller said he thrives on accomplishing rare feats.
“I like it, not many people do it and I want to be different,” he said. “I just like to stand out. I want to do what can’t be done. If somebody says you can’t do it, I want to do it.”
Miller said he has goals of turning pro and snaring multiple world titles.
“I’d like to win the all-around and try to win the bull riding and calf roping,” he said.
Asked if there are similarities between tie-down roping and bull riding, Miller said, “First, you have to go get your job done. Both events require lots of balance and a lot of mental game.”
Miller, a 5-foot-4, 150-pound cowboy, also competed at the NTHSRA Finals in the team roping heading and ribbon roping events.
I like it, not many people do it and I want to be different. I just like to stand out. I want to do what can’t be done. If somebody says you can’t do it, I want to do it.
Boyd High School sophomore Hadley Miller
Miller said success in rodeo comes from being diligent and teachable.
“It takes a lot of practice,” he said. “When someone tries to help you out, take their advice. You also don’t need to get mad and frustrated. You need to use your head and keep a strong mental game.”
In the NTHSRA’s 2017 girls all-around title race, Brittne Thomas, also a sophomore, clinched the title and helped Alvarado finish No. 1 in the team title race. Thomas also snared the ride up goat tying and walk up goat tying titles.
She also competed at the NTHSRA Finals in break-away roping, ribbon roping and steer undecorating events.
Thomas said she won as a result of perseverance and patience.
“It takes a lot of hard work,” she said. “But you don’t get frustrated when you’re having hard times. You need to go just have fun.”