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What’s Your Number? With Zach Kilgus

7-Elite Zach Kilgus

Photo by Kirkbride Photography

Number: I'm a 7 Elite header and heeler. I've been heeling most of the summer, but I'm actually going to start heading next week with a good buddy of mine, Britt Bockius. He's going to come out here for a few weeks and we're going to go to 19 rodeos in a row.

So you're from the East. What's the roping like out there? I was born in Lock Haven, Pa., I was in Texas for a few years, but I met my girlfriend, Alicia Pottmeyer and she lives in Ellenboro, W.V. and so do I. From here, you have to travel so far to go somewhere and the ropings are getting slim to none, to be honest. In Texas, you can go 10 minutes down the road to practice and find a roping any day of the week. Up here, it's hard to go to find a team roping on the weekend. As far as the rodeos go, there's about a month or month-and-a-half where there's lots of them to go to. I like to rope a lot, so it's hard.

Association of Preference: Up here in the East, it's pretty much the IPRA.

Rope of Preference: To heel, I like the medium soft GT4 Lite. I use two head ropes, the soft Spyder and a soft Heat. My girlfriend's stepfather, Mike Hall, used to own Classic Ropes about 15 years ago. He made ropes here in West Virginia for a little while. He's still connected, so I use those ropes.

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Best Horse You Ever Rode: Well, I don't even own a horse, to be honest with you. Mike's got about eight or 10 and he's always got good ones. But the best one is an eight-year-old Palomino Mike purchased through Malcom Davis in Oklahoma City we call Dealer. This one, he scores outstanding every time. His heading is exceptional, and you can heel on him, too.

Biggest Win of Your Career: The win that sticks out to me the most was at the International Youth Finals Rodeo in Shawnee, Okla. I won the second round of the calf roping and the team roping that day and I won like $5,000 in one day.

Favorite Roping: I like the NTRL Finals in Jacksonville, Fla. It's fun and it's cheap enough that a guy can rope a lot.

Why do you rope: I want to do the best I can do and see where I can go with it. It's an addiction, a guy just can't get over it.

Competition Philosophy: When I'm heading or roping calves, I don't do anything I know I can't do. I know my capabilities and I try to do that every time. If I can't reach four coils and be 4 flat, I'm not going to do it. A lot of people go to the rodeo or the roping and they start doing things they never did in the practice pen.

Real Job: Right now, I'm a land man in the oil field leasing and pipeline right-of-ways. I'm 25 and this is my first full-time real job, which is good.

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