Rodeo: Miller aims for all-around title

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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Adding Saddles

ADDING SADDLES – Boyd’s Hadley Miller leads the all-around standings heading into this weekend’s finals. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Hadley Miller is far from being tall in the saddle.

“I’m barely 5-4 on a good day,” Miller said.

Heading into this weekend’s North Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals, the Boyd sophomore is riding tall as the all-around leader.

It’s the unique combination Miller has used to get to the top of the standings that stands out. He heads into the finals leading calf roping and bull riding, giving him the shot at the all-around award he covets.

“It’d mean a lot. It’s the most prestigious award in rodeo,” Miller said. “You’ve just got to go rope every calf and ride every bull and see what happens.”

The 17-year-old has been competing in rodeo for nearly a decade.

“I had a buddy when I was 8 that said, ‘Come try riding bulls,'” Miller recalled.

By 2010, he captured a state youth bull riding saddle.

In 2013, he started roping competitively.

“I’ve always done it and finally got competitive when I got older,” Miller said.

On top of roping calves and riding bulls, Miller also team ropes with Colton Kelly from Northwest. With Miller heading and Kelly heeling, the pair is fifth in the team roping standings.

“He’s the one that got me into riding bulls,” Miller said.

Kelly is second in bull riding to Miller.

Managing all the disciplines requires a lot of practice time. Miller keeps a strict regimen with weight workouts on Monday and Wednesdays. He adds in roping dummies on Mondays. On Tuesdays, he ropes calves and rides a drop barrel to practice for bull riding. Thursdays are spent team roping. The weekends are for competing.

“I work out and practice hard, so when I get to the rodeo it’s easier,” Miller said.

Of the various events, bull riding is Miller’s favorite. It’s the chaos and unpredictability that attracts Miller.

“You have no control over it. You just have to react to everything the bull throws at you,” Miller said. “When you hit the ground, you better be running.”

Riding on the backs of the 900-plus-pound bulls doesn’t faze Miller.

“You just squeeze real tight,” Miller said. “If you’re afraid of what the bull is going to do if it gets you on the ground, the safest place is on its back.”

Miller broke his collarbone earlier this year.

Last year, he suffered a broken leg while calf roping. He still managed to finish third in the rookie standings.

Miller owns a 27-point lead over Venus’ Cuyler Winters heading into the finals.

“It’s not enough to be a good cushion,” Miller said. “The kids behind me want it just as bad and will be coming for it.”

His lead in bull riding is 89 points. He owns an 80-point lead on Bridgeport’s Parker Emola in calf roping.

Miller would like to add saddles for both went and all-around to his collection of seven.

If he brings home the all-around crown, he points out the work for next year starts immediately to defend it.

“To make sure it’s not a fluke, I have to go win it again,” Miller said.

North Texas High School Rodeo Finals
May 19-21
Shepherd’s Valley Cowboy Church


Calf roping: 1. Hadley Miller, Boyd, 981; 2. Parker Emola, Bridgeport, 901; 3. Tanner Baker, Alvord, 892; 5. Tallan Miller, Bridgeport, 723

Breakaway roping: 1. Kelsey Hancock, Bowie, 884; 2. Paycee Edgett, Alvord, 730

Steer undecorating: 1. Mikayla Cox, Alvord, 1,006; 2. LaKayla Bell, Granbury, 968; 3. Lana Bell, Granbury, 911; 4. Paitane Brown, Paradise, 791

Ribbon roping: 1. Tallan Miller, Bridgeport, 860; 2. Cuyler Winters, Venus, 787; 3. Hadley Miller, Boyd, 686; 4. Parker Emola, Bridgeport, 595

Walk-up goat tying: 1. Brittne Thomas, Alvarado, 1,284; 2. Lana Bell, Granbury, 954; 5. Kimberly Luco, Decatur, 761

Ride-up goat tying: 1. Brittne Thomas, Alvarado, 1,289; 2. Carsyn Bailey, Victory Christian, 1,053.5

Steer wrestling: 1. Parker Emola, Bridgeport, 1,202; 2. Dillan McGuire, Decatur, 692; 3. Scott Steiner, Decatur, 209

Team roping, heading: 1. Cuyler Winters, Venus, 923; 2. Cody Schulz, Alvarado, 786; 4. Ty Meals, Paradise, 633; 5. Hadley Miller, Boyd, 560

Team roping, heeling: 1. Cody Schulz, Alvarado, 923; 2. Cuyler Winters, Venus, 786; 2. Ty Meals, Paradise, 653; 4. Eddie Brock, North Hills, 633; 5. Colton Kelly, Northwest, 560

Barrels: 1. Amie Hennen, Sanger, 911; 2. Annie Flory, Cedar Hill, 889, 3. Carsyn Bailey, Victory Christian, 867

Chute dogging: 1. Ty Meals, Paradise, 829; 2. Ryan Schulz, Alvarado, 663; 3. Jake Lovell, Burleson, 637

Bull riding: 1. Hadley Miller, Boyd, 951; 2. Colton Kelly, Northwest, 862; 3. Greysen Bridwell, North Hills, 475

Rookie cowgirl: 1. Kaitlyn Kasterke, Aledo, 1,109; 2. Gracie Henderson, Decatur, 986; 3. Rylee Wells, Peaster, 803

Rookie cowboy: 1. Hank Herron, Lipan, 441; 2. Kyle Webster, Decatur, 345

All-around cowgirl: 1. Brittne Thomas, Alvarado, 3,768; 2. Kelsey Hancock, Bowie, 3,361; 3. Riley Caballero, Midwest Christian, 3,167.5; 4. Carsyn Bailey, Victory Christian, 3,138.5

All-around cowboy: 1. Hadley Miller, Boyd, 3,178; 2. Cuyler Winters, Venus, 3,151; 3. Parker Emola, Bridgeport, 2,956; 4. Ty Meals, Paradise, 2,115; 5. Colton Kelly, Northwest, 2,065; 6. Tanner Baker, Alvord, 1,930; 7. Tallan Miller, Bridgeport, 1,800

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