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After late start, Montana team roper Logan Shaw following in dad's rodeo footsteps

Logan Shaw
Posted at 10:11 AM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 12:11:17-04

LOLO — It might seem like Logan Shaw was born into rodeo. His dad, Ryan, was a pro steer wrestler in the 1990s and 2000s.

But the younger Shaw still took some time to gravitate toward the sport.

“I didn't actually want to start rodeoing until I was a freshman in high school. I wanted to play sports and play football and that, but I decided that this would probably be a better out for me, so I just started roping when I was a freshman," Logan Shaw said. "Just kind of kept going with it, and now I'm here.”

Here is the University of Montana, where Shaw is a junior team roper.

A Utah native, he started his college career at Weber State. Then after two years at Casper College in Wyoming, Shaw eventually followed his buddy, Ty Christensen, to Missoula.

At the UM Spring Rodeo in Hamilton April 26-27, he wrapped up a fast first season with the Griz. Montana's spring season packs five rodeos into three weeks.

“It's pretty crazy. It's definitely different," Shaw said. "Every other region, we all had, like, it was every weekend for a month and a half or two months. And this it's three weekends and it's jam packed.

“And I do like it — you get to run a lot of steers every weekend, but you kind of get a little tired at the rodeos. But it is pretty nice, though. You kind of get them in and get them out pretty quick.”

But college rodeo isn’t just about the performances. Shaw would run the chutes at practice, and the team helped prep the arena at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds for its home rodeo.

Once the rodeos start, Shaw — unlike some of the other cowboys on the college circuit — doesn’t do any other events. He’s heeled before but is now exclusively a header, partnering with teammate Trevor Klind to rope steers.

“I think heeling helps my heading just a little bit more," he said. "It just kind of makes me realize more stuff, like with handling steers and making it easier for your partner so your guy can catch more.”

Shaw made strides in his first year at Montana, having a better spring season than in the fall.

But the lessons learned here are still nothing compared to the ones learned at home.

“Pretty hard ones, you know, with my dad," Shaw said with a laugh. "But he's really helped me to just keep pushing, and he's always in my corner, so that’s the main thing. He's always trying to help me keep going and be better every day. And it's just sometimes it's a little hard to see that when he's yelling at you.

“But at the end of the day, you kind of realize that he's on your side and ... he’s always wanting to see you do good.”

Even with the lessons and support from home, Shaw, of course, wouldn’t be anywhere without his horse.

"His name’s Simba. He's a 7-year-old gelding. I like him a lot," Shaw said. "I bought him from a guy in Utah as a 4-year-old, and he was started pretty well. And then I kind of finished everything out on him, and I really enjoy roping on him the most, just because I've kind of done a lot of what I like with him, and I just kind of like him more because he's kind of more my horse and what I've created on him.”