Cowboy up with Huntsville's rodeo legend Joe Beaver

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Eight time rodeo world champion Joe Beaver has always stayed busy, but the pandemic is giving him some time to reflect on his career and legacy.

"I started roping when I was young. There's pictures of me in a diaper sitting on a horse and swinging a rope," he said. "As I got older, it got to be more fun and more my deal. I won my first championship when I was about ten."

Beaver won his first world championship in 1985, when he was just twenty years old.

He attended his last twenty one years later, at the age of 41.

"So, when you're watching it, you have to remember, hey, there's an athlete and there's an athlete trying to conquer him," he said. "It's a match to see who wins. In the timed events you watch, it's just so precise."

Since retiring, Beaver now puts on clinics, teaching young ropers how to compete. He holds 15 to 20 large clinics and several smaller ones every year. He's also become a rodeo commentator, sharing expertise and humor.

"It's a rewarding position for me because I know what they're going through and what they have to give to get what I got. Beaver explained. "It's been a full circle for me."

Beaver was born in Victoria, but moved to Huntsville as a teenager to attend Sam Houston State University.

He and his wife still live in Huntsville today.

"I always felt with Huntsville that I had it. You know, I'd go to the national finals every year and it was a big deal and the radio would come with me and they would talk to me every day. It was a boost. It's a good feeling knowing that your town felt that way about you," he said. "I think that keeps Huntsville on the map. We've looked at a lot of different areas and different towns and we just keep coming back to here."

You can see more from our interview with Joe in the ABC13 Houston app through Roku, Fire Stick, Apple or Android TV.

Want to see more from the heart of your community? Check out your town's stories through ABC13+'s Facebook page.
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