COLUMBIA — Brady Chasteen waits patiently on his horse, Goldie, alongside his younger brother Tory Chasteen. The Chasteen brothers are competing in the team roping event, in which they must rope a steer in the shortest amount of time possible.
The gate opens, and the two cowboys race out into the ring chasing after the steer, their horses creating a dusty haze throughout the arena as they kick up the dirt. Tory Chasteen ropes the head of the steer, quickly followed by his brother roping its hind legs. The boys secure a first-place finish at the Missouri High School Rodeo State Finals with a time of 7.37 seconds.
Brady Chasteen is no stranger to rodeo life. A second-generation cowboy, he says he has always known how to rope. His dad competed professionally and his mom participated in high school and college.
“Mom says we’ve been on a horse since before we could walk,” Chasteen laughs. “Rodeoing, though, was always a choice for us. Our parents never forced us.”
Chasteen, whose top events include cutting, calf roping and team roping, said he has been participating in rodeos since the first grade. Now, a newly graduated senior, he has won the cutting competition at the state level for the past three years.
“I’ve always been known as the roper,” he says. “I always have a rope in my hand.”
Cutting is the one competition where Chasteen says there is “always a sibling rivalry” with his brother.
“Tory beat me in cutting yesterday, and now I beat him today, so I guess that makes us even,” Chasteen said. “We’ve always been more competitive on cutting, but we tend to focus more on team roping and root each other on in calf roping.”
Chasteen and his family live on a 150-acre farm in Columbia, where he and his brother practice roping two to three times a week.
“When we’re not in school, we’re either roping or taking care of the place. There’s always something to do,” he says.
All of this togetherness can sometimes cause tension between the brothers, but in the end, the rodeo has been good for them because it brings them closer together.
“When we’re not trying to kill each other, we’re pretty good buddies,” Chasteen jokes. “There’s not a lot of fighting unless we’ve been around each other for a long time.”
In addition to roping bringing Chasteen closer to his brother, he also says it brings him closer to his parents and older sister.
“It’s a family deal. Everyone can rope together,” he said. “It’s just all about family.”
Chasteen has high hopes for his future in rodeo. While taking classes through Moberly Community College in Columbia this fall, he expects to still stay active in rodeo to eventually work his way up to the top.
“My goal is to make the National Finals Rodeo, which are the top 15 guys in the world. That’s a pretty tall order.”
Until then, Chasteen will keep his family tradition and pastime alive within his tight-knit family.
“I don’t know of any other sport where you’re competing against someone yet still rooting for them and wanting them to do well. That’s what’s great about rodeo.”