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Saddle bronc rider Taos Muncy proud to have rodeo life in his blood
Rodeo

Taos Muncy scored 87 on High Loonesome in saddle bronc riding during the second performance of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Taos Muncy scored 87 on High Loonesome in saddle bronc riding during the second performance of the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo on Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

PRESCOTT — For the average person, gearing up mere moments before climbing aboard a bucking bronco for as long as humanly possible would likely have them trembling in their cowboy boots.

However, for 10-time National Finals Rodeo (NFR) qualifier and two-time champion Taos Muncy, it’s just another day at the office.

The well-respected saddle bronc rider from Corona, New Mexico, has worked his way to the Prescott Frontier Days “World’s Oldest Rodeo” as his first performance took place during the rodeo’s “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night on Tuesday.

Muncy wound up winning first place on the day, something he has become accustomed to: He already has won a slew of rodeos, including world titles in 2007 and 2011 that have helped him garner nearly $1.7 million in earnings since he joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) in 2006.

“This is kind of just what I have always wanted to do. Ever since I was a little kid growing up, I just wanted to be in the rodeo. I really didn’t care what event I did,” Muncy said. “Through college, I just started winning more at bronc riding, so I stuck with that, and heck, I love it. I love going up and down the row, and I love getting on a bucking horse.”

Muncy, 32, got his name because he was born around the time of the Taos Days Rodeo, and his father, Blaine, knew a bull rider named Taos. During his college days at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Oklahoma, he also competed in bareback riding, bull riding and tie-down roping while majoring in agricultural business.

Most impressively, the 5-foot-10, 155-pound Muncy currently sits in 25th place in the world standings for saddle bronc riding with nearly $27,000 in earnings. The top 15 qualify for the National Finals Rodeo at the end of the regular season. On the Turquoise Circuit, which includes Arizona and New Mexico rodeos, Muncy was leading in saddle bronc riding and stood third in the all-around standings as of July 2. He most recently won the saddle bronc buckle at Sisters Rodeo from June 5 to 9 in Sisters, Oregon.

Like many cowboys, the rodeo lifestyle runs through Muncy’s blood, as many of his family members were or are rodeo competitors themselves. His father competed in all three rough stock events (bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding and bull riding), while his mother, Johnnie, was a breakaway roper and barrel dancer. His sister Jordan won the National High School Finals championship in barrel racing in 2006 and was the rodeo coach at New Mexico Highlands University.

“It’s just all in my blood. All of my cousins rode broncs and bulls and they’d have practices when I was a little kid, and I just remember sitting at the bench watching them and wishing I could join them,” Muncy said. “My family is real supportive. They’re all involved in rodeo and they know what’s going, and without them, I couldn’t be here.”

Despite his major success, Muncy has racked up his fair share of injuries starting with a broken leg he suffered at the Red Bluff Roundup in California in 2008. It ultimately required surgery with a metal rod being inserted into his leg. Muncy also suffered a broken ankle the following year when he was working with a colt, and then tore his groin in 2016. But these setbacks have never stopped him for following his dreams.

“I mean, if you play the game, it’s going to happen,” Muncy said. “When you’re ‘rodeo-ing,’ you’re bound to get hurt when you’re dealing with an animal three times your size. Everyone hates to get hurt, but that’s part of it and you just got to come back from it.”

Like all the other competitions, the winner for saddle bronc riding will be announced on Sunday after all competitors have finished their go-around, but it is safe to say that Muncy’s outing will be a tough one to beat.

UP NEXT

The 2019 Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo continues with the fifth performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds, 840 Rodeo Drive.

Aaron Valdez is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email avaldez@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.

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