Episode 021 - All-Around Roper, Chet Weitz

Listen as team Justin’s own, Chet Weitz, mentions what it would be like to hunt with Tiger Woods and shares his story about what it’s like being a roper on the rodeo road and shares stories from his childhood growing up on a hunting ranch.

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Podcast Transcript

Taylor McAdams: You're listening to the Kick Your Boots Up Podcast where we swap stories of the West. Whether you're just waking up or getting in for the day, come on in and kick your boots up. This week's episode of the Kick Your Boots Up podcast is one of my favorites so far. We get to introduce a new Justin endorsee, Chet Weitz, Chet is an incredible cowboy. And I've got to say honestly, before I tell you all about him, his sheet, his record is incredible for him being new to the PRCA. I've got to commend it. But let's get started with with his introduction from London, Texas, Chet Weitz grew up on a ranch where he got to have the hunting the ultimate hunting experience with his dad being a hunting guide and taking people on guided hunts. What a cool experience. I can't wait to get to know more about that. But something that I thought was pretty interesting about Chet is his mom is a pretty good and well-known team roper. And that's really interesting in the rodeo world. He gets to have that experience with his dad as well. But then his mom is kind of the one that has lots and lots of buckles has done all the things helped him out along the way high school rodeo college rodeo, both his mom and him got to do that. So that's pretty incredible. Chet, congratulations on joining Team Justin. And thank you for taking the time to be with us on the Kick Your Boots Up podcast.

Chet Weitz: Yes, ma'am. Well, thank you all so much for having me. And I greatly appreciate it. And I look forward to it. I'm super excited.

Taylor McAdams: Of course, we're excited to,o and speaking of excitement, there's a lot for you going on. We're in August right now. So the summer runs behind us, we're getting ready to gear up. We're cheering you on for NFR. Let's kind of talk through your life and your background and back it up a little bit and tell it tell us about where you got started and how you got started and what your life was like growing up.

Chet Weitz: Yes, ma'am. So my dad, he grew up in Louisiana. And he didn't have much to do with, you know, cattle or roping or anything like that. Well, as he grew older, he wanted to branch and do stuff like that. And he loved to hunt, he always hunted. And he just always wanted to do cattle. So he ended up moving back to Sonora and London and our place and then my mom she always wrote she grew up in Brooklyn. And like you said she was a good team rapper, as you know, everybody I always talked to they're like your mom, you said so good. And she still does, but I guess it was way better back then. And, you know, they, they came together, my dad wanted to ranch and my mom always roped and, you know, they met and ended up having a family and, you know, just kind of started off ranching and stuff like that. Well, you know, I started swinging a rope when I was like, I want to say like 16 months old. You know, going to roping the dummy doing all sorts of stuff. I won my first saddle when I was three at the Las Vegas dummy roping deal that they have out there at the NFR and you know, I've just always grown up around it my we raised cattle and you know, my mom always ropes so she always pushed me rope and I she never really had to push me that much. always just loved it and enjoyed it. And ever since then I've been hooked started up in the dummy and started you know, roping, calves, roping steers and it just kind of took off from there. And you know, it always went through the Junior High High School ranks college ranks and now the professional ranks and so I was super excited. And you know, just it was always a blessing that my parents always helped me. Help me out and push me to ranch and to rope at the same time. 

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yes. And what a good family you have. Let's kind of talk about them just for a little bit. I know when I was preparing for this interview and getting to talk with you I was talking with Darla Fisher and she had the most funny story to tell about how I guess you would have been three years old you just said you know was when you were on your saddle that dummy rope and and it was against like four to six to eight-year-olds, you know, but I'm genuinely curious for you your first saddle that you won, was it big size? Or was it for a three-year-old when you were three?

Chet Weitz: Oh, it was definitely a three-year-old? I think I haven't right now and I don't think I can even get like one Lego right? We still have it at the house. Yeah, no, it's it's a little bitty saddle. Yes, ma'am.

Taylor McAdams: What a fun thing that'll be to have one day when you get to pass it on to your kids about and what a fun story that is too. I love that so much. And I kind of want to talk more about your experience getting started with dummy ropipn’ because I feel like now the event has the sport or event of dummy ropin’ has grown and become what it is today. You can you can't go to a Western event in the industry and not have some kind of go rope in dummy ropin’ popup and happen. So how do you think how important was was it for you to get started there to get this the slowing it down getting the basics, especially at such a young age? How important was that?

Chet Weitz: It was it was very good. You know, you got a lot of reps in when you were young and you don't realize that until you're older. You know I roped the dummy all the time. And I'll go ahead and throw another funny story out there where he would say my mom and dad would be at ropin’s and they'd be ropin’ and stuff and you ou know, I don't know if my sister was born at the time, but she might have been really young. But I would my mom was like, Here, here's a dummy go rope. And she would like, just let me go rope the dummy while they were roping. And I would, I would come up, I forget who I did it to. But I was like, Hey, do you mind if I borrow? You know, $4 or whatever? And they're like, yeah, here you go, whatever they thought I was going buy like a stripe while I was gone, been going off the dummy, we're matching on the fast lane, and ended up winning a bunch of money and gave it back to them and stuff. And you know, I did that forever. And it was so important, you know, you don't realize it at the time, I just love ropin’ the dummy. I was very competitive. And so all the trends and people that I grew up with, you know, guys that are going to the NFR. Now, we, we started off roping the dummy and having matches and stuff like that. And it's just crazy to kind of look back on that. And, you know, it was just so important, you know, you don't understand that you're getting reps in and just ropin’. And it just, you know, it started off, started me off where I could actually rope maybe not off horseback at the time to do it correctly on foot. And so that's what I found out was really important for me later on in life.

Taylor McAdams: I like your outlook there. That's super interesting that you appreciate the opportunity that you had as a kid to get the reps in. Because yes, anyone that has even tried to become any type of roper at least has learned that you have to start slow, you have to start at the dummy before you can even get anything that moves or even trying to track a calf or a steer. So that's really, really cool. I appreciate that and admire that, that you're an advocate for it as well. And what a fun story to to be able to say, “you know what, I started gambling when I was three years old, and I was really good at it.” So that's really cool. So kind of going back a little bit to your family aspect. I know that you're very outdoorsy, you're an avid hunter, you get to do a lot of things outside and your dad having the opportunity to do the hunting guides. I'm just genuinely curious. Do you ever get to help him on those guided tours or guided hunts?

Chet Weitz: Yes, ma'am. Yeah, I do all the time. I love hunting, you know, if I didn't grow or do anything, I'd probably be hunting and fishing all the time. And I bet you know, just, I just love hunting a lot. And, you know, my dad started out. And we had, he had my grandpa bought the ranch in London, and started out you know, just kind of doing it for family. And then it kind of turned into more of a job, then then having a few people over that a family to come by. And so he kind of started, you know, breeding deer and doing deer hunts. And, you know, I greatly enjoy that I love seeing the process of the deer breed and, you know, helping them along. And it just, it means a lot and I just I like it a lot. I love hunting, it's a challenge. I like being challenged in life too. And it's a lot of fun. For me, I haven't got to help him the last couple years, you know, besides a couple of weekends because I've been in college and doing stuff and going to rodeos but, you know, I just graduated college so I think I'm gonna get to help him a lot more and go back you know if I'm not rodeo and and hopefully not during December, but we'll hopefully that'll come when it comes. But ya know, I enjoy it a lot. So I'm super, super excited to do it.

Taylor McAdams: And I've got to say congratulations, by the way on your graduation from Texas Tech in May that was so just so inspirational for a lot of people to be able to have to be able to be really good at rodeo but then also have that degree to follow back on to fall back on. But before we move on to talk about that, I do want to ask a few more questions about the hunting because my husband says he's He's an avid hunter, he loves to deer hunt deer and he says that like as a child he just like discovered himself in the woods and even now when life gets too fast and too crazy, he loves to just go sit in  quiet so how do you think hunting has helped your your calf roping in your team roping game?

Chet Weitz: It's helped me a lot I when I was young I grew up with a little red Ryder BB gun. And, you know you go hop birds or each have to sneak up on a bird and a tree and you know have to go do this and have a lot of patience. And, you know, I and like you said at the same time, you know radio is so fast. And life is so fast. And so it's so nice to sometimes not you know don't take your phone to the stand or when you're hunting or you know, kind of get away from everything and it's so, so beautiful to see nature and wildlife and stuff. And it's just like you said it's it's helped me a lot with patience as well. You know not to get angry or not to get too excited or too sad, you know, to kind of stay in a happy medium, and patience. Patience is key when hunting and to control your emotions as well. And so that's helped me a lot with not only rodeo but life in general as well.

Taylor McAdams: I couldn't agree more lessons from the deer stand or or the tree stand you know In general in life from the woods, that's the best way to live. And I'm genuinely curious there too, because there's probably been an opportunity for some more elite people to come to your guys' ranch in London and we don't need to name drop or anything but for you, what would it be cool personally to be able to do to be able to hunt with anyone? What celebrity would you pick? How awesome would that be? What would be like your dream hunt?

Chet Weitz: Oh, gosh, I don't. Um, my dream hunt would probably be I don't know. I don't know if if Tiger Woods hunts or not, but I would like to have Tiger I think I could learn a lot from him. It would be more about learning than about hunting, for sure. You know, he's just, yeah, he's such a good, good, good athlete. You know, he learned to control his emotions and learn to not let one shot affect him. And golf is so hard and it feels like I feel like as rodeo people, we, rodeo and golf, which are the two hardest things on on our mind and our body. And, you know, I think he would have a lot of knowledge and it would be it'd be really cool to learn from that, especially in a competitive standpoint.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yeah. And he's always got people watching him all the time. And that's very similar to PRCA now that you've gone pro you know, you're kind of held to this different standard. And so that's I love that what a good answer. I would have probably said somebody like Luke Bryan or somebody so that's cool. Tiger Woods. I love that. But moving on further, we do need to start talking more about rodeo and your future plans. Obviously, you're you're kind of a an all-around cowboy per se you’re a team roper, calf Roper, you know, but I've got to ask more about the horses aspect because calf roping and team roping are very different. There's calves, there’s steers, but granite it seems similar, but when you actually start breaking it down and getting competitive, and both is it important for you to ride the same horse or different horses tell us about the horses that you get to compete on.

Chet Weitz: So I have different horses that I head and calf up off of and like you said it, it it takes a lot more for sure. Because I have to have you know, three horses in each event. And so like I have I have all my horses are kind of older seasoned horses. I didn't really i i went ahead and bought a couple older horses as well. That way you know out on the road there are a lot more season but I have three head horses ones Ben Johnson, Spider Man and Nightlinger and then those are my main three and then I have two main calf horses and my main calf horses Money and Mike and you know it uh it takes a lot especially doing two events to go down the road you have to have double the horses double the expenses, double the feed and stuff like that. And you know, of course powers such a such a big deal. And he can't he can't really get by with just one good or she have to have multiple and be into events. You have to double that. So it's a it's a it takes a lot. I'm sure I'm blessed with good horsepower. Yes, ma'am.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, without a doubt, and that was good that you got to name them give them all their their shoutouts too. And one thing I'm curious, we were lucky enough to catch you on a day off where you're traveling in between rodeos. How do you keep your mind settled, your horses settled in between the transition because it's not like you get to go to a rodeo on the West Coast, go home back to Texas and then go back to the West Coast. You're obviously traveling most of the summer most of the year. So Chet, tell us about your day to day whenever you're traveling how you keep everything normal and your routine good. Your head good, all of it. 

Chet Weitz: Yes, ma'am. I like to stay really positive, you know, throughout the day, whether if I wake up, you know, I think God that, you know, he's blessed me with another day. Whether it goes good or bad, you know, saying that I have is every day is a good day. Some are just better than others. And so, my routine you know, I wake up I'm just blessed to be able to do what I'm doing. And it depends on like, if we're at a rodeo like right now today, we're you know, I'm in between rodeos. We came from Reno, we're going to press it and it's nice to have a little bit of a break. So we're kind of reorganizing the trailer, getting things done took for what we need to do over the fourth and giving our horses a little bit of a break we'll pony home and you know, take care of them give them a bath stuff like that and kind of keep them exercise but give them a break that way you know when they're going down the road it's so so hard on them to stand in a trailer for so long and it's it's you know, we get out and walk home while we're traveling and stuff that way they can stretch out and we water them and take really good care of them but it's super nice right now like he said, we have a couple of days in between rodeos to you know, just let them rest and that's a big deal.

Taylor McAdams: I loved whenever we would travel to like to nat- the national high school finals or whatever. I loved getting able being able to find a spot and get the horses out let them walk let them rollin whatever. So that's really cool that you guys do that as well, just to make sure that they stay ready and stay on their best best performances as well as you know, just to make sure that they're ready to go. But along those same lines, how important is it for you to have like a daily feeding regimen, a daily routine with supplements, all of that stuff, just to keep them, you know, linked up and ready?

Chet Weitz: Yes, ma'am. No, it's very important to, to keep them on the same program, you know, you tried to keep them on the same program that you are at home, you know, you try to feed by call it you know, eight o'clock in the morning, or if you have to up that morning, a feed at six, or you try to keep them on the same program, it's hard to, especially when you're going to rodeos and they have late night, slacks, or early morning slacks or light bath curves and stuff like that. But it is very important to try to keep them on the same routine, morning and night, when you're traveling on the road, at a rodeo or just hanging out. Because, you know, it's just like us, if you wake up and you have your coffee every morning, that's what you're gonna want to do. And that's what the horses are gonna want is to be fed every morning kind of at the same time. So you got to treat them just like you would treat yourself as well.

Taylor McAdams: Yes, and I think that's a big misconception. A lot of people don't realize that. You rodeo guys and gals, you guys take care of your horses better than you take care of yourselves. They're fed before you eat, they're gone. They're to the vet before you go to the doctor. So yeah, that's, that's very good to hear that. But kind of moving on to the future goals. I know your future is so bright. And I'm just shocked that you're able to even college and rodeo at the state do college and rodeo at the same time. That was a lot because college is very hard. And rodeo is very hard. So I commend you there. But it's no it's no doubt to us that you have a very bright future ahead of you. You have you know, big goals, you set them high. What do you think? And what are your goals for this year, and then maybe for the next five years, the future of rodeo for you?

Chet Weitz: Oh, gosh, so my, my goals this year, you know, is to make the finals in calf ropin’, winning team ropin along with that to win the rookie, you know, calf roping, team roping and all around. And that's my goals, you know, I kind of got set back a little this, in the beginning of this spring with my shoulder and stuff, you know, I've had quite a few people that have been encouraging me, and I've stayed positive, you know, something else could have happened besides my shoulder too. And so my, you know, my goals never changed. Even though I was setting out for three or four months, it never changed. And I still believe that I can make the finals this year. In both and I'm super excited for it, I've got a great team ropin’ partner and that, you know, my goal is never changed this year. And for five years, you know, down the road, I you know, it's kind of the kind of the same thing, you know, I like to just strive to be better. And, you know, hopefully win the world make finals this year. And, you know, do the same the next five years and continue to be a better person and follow God more as well. And, you know, just continue to progress, my roping as well. 

Taylor McAdams: Wow, that's so good. I'm so excited for you, I know that your heads screwed on straight, you're gonna get there. And I'm so glad you brought up about your shoulder injury to because that could have been an opportunity to let yourself get down to let the negative talk even to let Satan come in and tell you that you couldn't do it. But you did it. You rebuked him and you overcame. And so talk about your experience there for a little bit because that had to have been so hard.

Chet Weitz: Yeah, it was tough. I've I've been working on my walk with God, but in the past year, like a lot more than I have normally. And you know, I had really good friends behind me in college, we kind of started a little Bible study group. And it was it helped me through a lot as well, you know, usually. So I guess to rewind, I had my shoulder surgery per shoulder issue right before San Antonio. And I wrote that San Antonio, dislocated it and tore my labrum roped at San Antonio and then had surgery right after, for people that don't know. And, you know, I was out for four months, Reno was my first Friday of the Anor. Since then, and you know, it was it would have been really easy to get down on myself and tell myself Oh, I don't have a chance this year, or I may not be able to rodeo this year. And I never it's kind of weird. I never really looked at it like that, you know, I went I went a couple of days where I was pretty down about it right after it happened, you know, thinking I wasn't gonna be able to Rodeo but I never really told myself that, you know, I was I was done or, you know, I think God really, you know, put his hand over me and allowed me to be positive in that aspect because I was kind of, I was kind of surprised at myself as well for not being as negative a lot more positive in it. And I was just, you know, I tried to look at the positive side you know, I could have got hurt going somewhere, while horses could have got hurt going somewhere, you know, somewhere I wanted to go or this or that, you know, something, something else worse could have happened happen to me or my horses or friends or family. And, you know, I looked at it in that point of view and it kind of stuck, you know, seeing everybody go to Fort Worth or, or Boston, I mean, and all the radios in California and everybody making the college finals and just kind of sitting back and watching it. But I, like I said, I think God really put his hand on me and let me stay positive throughout that whole process. And I had surgery on Saturday and therapy on Tuesday, and I worked my butt off to try to get back and you know, and three and a half months to be backed by Reno and the good Lord blessed me to be back and I just can't be happier to be out here to rodeo and it's so it was difficult, but it was good. I really enjoyed it. I get to do a lot of things I probably wouldn't have got to have done if I would have been rodeo on you know, I got to hang with some friends and spend some quality time with family and I was super blessed about that. Yes, ma'am.

Taylor McAdams: That is so needed. It's crazy how we make a plan for ourselves and then God laughs right like you thought you're on track. You're gonna have a soup you're gonna get prepped for the summer it's gonna be really good. You're gonna go through stock so stock show season and he just said Haha, I have a plan for you. It's just a, you know, up to it like, are you going to follow it and I think that was really honestly the best thing that you could have done for yourself. So it's so exciting to see the future for you. Because you've been so diligent, you've been working hard, I know you were doing all the physical therapy you could to get back on and Reno was a pretty good success for you. I'm not gonna lie like it was pretty good. So the it's looking so good, especially with the season coming to an end very, very soon in September, there's a lot of money to be won lots of more opportunities still to be had. And here at Justin, we are so excited for you, we wish you the very best of luck. We know you're gonna do awesome. And we're so proud that you're on Team Justin, of course. But before we go, we want you to have the opportunity to allow everyone out there to kind of hear your story and see your story too. So where can we follow you on social media? Where can we keep up with you on the day to day travels of rodeo?

Chet Weitz: Yes, ma'am. So my my Instagram is Chet Weitz 11. And you know, I don't post a whole lot. So I'm trying to get better about that posting, you know, where I'm at what rodeos. I'm going to my schedule. And you know, like you said, day-to-day life, and Facebook as well. You know, I tried to keep everybody in the loop, I didn't realize how important that was, until, you know, here recently. And so that's, that's kind of where you can follow me and, and kind of go along our day. And you know, I'm super excited that you're allowed me to be on Team Justin. And I can't wait to represent y’all. And I'm just super excited about it. I love you know, what y'all are and your products and who you'll stand for. And, you know, you'll mean a lot to me, and I greatly appreciate it.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, of course, it's you're an easy pick for our team here because you stand for all the same core values that we do as well. So I know that it's going to be a very, very good partnership, and we're excited to cheer you on along the way. Really quick. Before we go, I've got to ask, well, what's your piece of advice that you'd like to give to anyone that wants to get started in rodeo? Or maybe they're in a rut in rodeo? What advice would you tell them?

Chet Weitz: My advice would be to, you have to keep going, even if people tell you you can't. So like, that's what I live off of people that tell me I can't do something or, you know, sometimes almost, like kind of make up a scenario that says, you know, somebody said I can't do it. So I'm going to try to do it. And the thing is, you know, if you're trying to get into roping or in a rut and roping, you know, you can't get too high and you can't get too low. You have to stay that positive, happy medium, and you have to put God first. And you know, God will bless you if you put him first and I've been super blessed. And I just I think hard work you know, it's it sounds so simple, hard work, but it it you know it? It really is if you put if you put the hard work in, you put the work in and you can you try and you you really really want it you know you will get there you know it you know Michael Jordan he got cut from his high school basketball team and he put the work in and he made it you know if you look at Michael Jordan, you never would have thought that you would have thought he would have got drafted for first round NBA pick you know, stuff like that. But he he kept working and he put the work in and that's that's what I tried to do I put God first put the work in don't get too high. Don't get too low. And you know, you stay that happy medium and you know, God will bless you. So.

Taylor McAdams: Wow, well said it's hard to believe that you're so young. That's really great advice. And someone out there really did need to hear it. I think I got a little piece of something from that, too. So, Chet, thank you again, we wish you the very best of luck as you cross the finish line headed to the NFR. We'll be cheering you on. And we're just so excited for you. Everyone here at Justin will be praying for you cheering you on and, and supporting you all along the way. 

Chet Weitz: Well, thank you all so much. And, you know, I'm, like I said, I'm super excited to represent you all, and I can't thank you enough.

Taylor McAdams: Thank you, Chet. Thanks for joining us on Kick Your Boots Up. I'm your host, Taylor McAdams, and we can't wait to share the next story of the West. Until then, feel free to like, subscribe and leave us a review. Follow us on social media at Justin boots to keep up with our next episode. And we'll see you the next time you kick your boots up.