(SHAWNEE, Okla.) Monty Stueve has been announcing the International Finals Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Oklahoma, for 10 years.
“It’s the greatest rodeo in the world,” said the 47-year-old announcer from Perry, Oklahoma. “This rodeo touches every association across the board. For many, this is the start of their rodeo career in multiple associations.”
His daughter, Kendalyn has been competing here for two years.
“I compete in barrels,” said the 16-year-old. “I’ve been coming with my dad every year. I have met so many people and I am running against the best.”
Kendalyn started competing when she was 3 years old. She and her horse, Flicka, made the Better Barrel Races Finals that year. She kept going, entering the junior rodeos and competing in junior high and has made the top 15 in the American Cowboy Rodeo Association the last two years. Monty has announced those Finals nine times.
“Wherever he goes, I go,” said Kendalyn.
Monty has been an announcer for 20 years.
“A guy called me on a Wednesday night and asked if I was coming to his rodeo – he needed an announcer,” he said.
Monty was a contestant for years, competing in bareback riding, bull riding and team roping.
“I’ve done every event in the sport of rodeo,” said Monty.
His favorite was bareback riding.
Monty served for 10 years in the Army as a supply specialist, rodeoing for them in Europe as well as the United States.
“I was the European Bareback Champion in 1993,” said Monty. “Rodeo in Europe is very different – you may drive 16 hours to a rodeo and put your name on a list. You may get drawn to compete or not.”
He announces for the Hampton Rodeo Company, the main stock contractor at the IFYR and the 20 time stock contractor of the year in the IPRA. He travels as far as Illinois to announce rodeos, making the 660 mile trip in his Chevrolet truck and Cimarron trailer, their home away from home. His wife, Sheila, is a surgical nurse and trains all of Kendalyn’s horses. Sheila and Monty’s son, Cooper, took a different path and chose baseball over rodeo.
“I never pushed my kids to rodeo, it’s their choice what they do,” said Monty. “He can ride and rope, but never competed.”
The Stueves raise cattle on their 80 acres outside Perry, Oklahoma.
The father-daughter duo travel every weekend together along with their trusted dog, Yankie, a Jack Russell Rat Terrier mix.
“How many people get to travel with their family every weekend,” said Monty. “Momma gets to go too – she’s the peace keeper.”
“She keeps everything running,” said Kendalyn. “I like traveling with my dad – I get to enter some of the toughest rodeos out there and he gets to announce me – and he never gets my name wrong.”