Change is inevitable. That has never been more apparent than during 2020, when plans change on the daily. One Montana-based cowboy hasn’t let 2020 interfere with his plans. Haven Meged, Miles City, Montana, the reigning world-champion tie-down roper, is excited for the opportunity to defend his title, but continues to take one day at a time.
“It would mean the world to me if I could win the world again, but as far as going in there and trying to defend it, it’s just taking it one calf at a time. It’s not over until it’s over in the tenth round, when everybody’s done and they close the gates,” Meged said.
Meged said that he is able to prepare for this year’s National Finals Rodeo, his second time competing there, a lot more than he did in 2019. A year ago, the young roper hurt his ankle 24 days before his Las Vegas debut, and really didn’t get to practice. Currently, he is in great health and ready to make the transition to Globe Life Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“This year I wouldn’t say we are going to prepare any different, honestly because it’s the same money. It’s a big venue, like Vegas; you still have got to be the best in the world. Pretty much making sure you yourself are sharp and your horse is ready so it’s pretty much going out there and making runs in the practice pens on your own horses and getting in a groove so everybody stays sharp,” he said.
Staying sharp is key, the added excitement and energy from the fans, the competition and of course the nerves in large venues like Thomas and Mack or the Globe Life Arena means being extra focused. Although he can feel the energy of the crowd and knows all eyes are on him, he doesn’t get nervous when he ropes. He is solely thinking about the goal of the fastest time when he backs into the box. Meged claims his mare, Beyonce, is also great at tuning out the noise and concentrating on the task at hand.
“When you are backing in there, you’re focused on the fact you’ve worked for this your whole life, and you pretty much have to pay attention to every little detail. You just want to make sure nothing goes wrong, and you’re set up for success,” Meged said.
Health and nutrition are key factors in both Meged and his horses’ every day lives. His focus is to stay healthy and feeling his best, and he does so by eating healthy and getting lots of exercise outside, primarily roping calves daily.
He also makes sure his horses are given the best care possible, knowing their overall health leads to their success in the arena. According to Meged, Beyonce is always ready, and is cared for with great exercise and premium nutrition.
“I’m always making sure my horses stay healthy and on a good nutrition program from Vitalize®. I make sure everything is on top of their game, and they are getting the best supplements they can get. My horses look great,” he said.
Meged provides his horses with Vitalize® Alimend® twice daily to help ensure they maintain a good gut feeling to help keep them healthy and performing.
“I want my horses to stay slick and shiny and feeling the best. That is my number one priority. If they don’t feel good, they aren’t going to perform to their best. It’s all about making them feel good,” he said.
Qualifying for his second consecutive NFR isn’t something Meged takes for granted. He worked his way there one day at a time. One rodeo at a time. With a continued focus on his health and his horses’ health, Meged continues to make sure that his 10 days in Arlington will be 10 of the best days ever. And he will take them one at a time.