You will hear, “It runs in their blood, thick in their veins. A lifestyle you cannot pull out of them, or reroute their dreams. A gold buckle, they bum with desire for naming them a World Champion.” It’s what every rodeo cowboy believes to be their end goal from the young age, and with richest wishes, Macon Murphy has set himself up with the opportunity to compete for that dream come true.

Murphy will be competing in the 2022 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, taking place Dec. 1-10. He acquires the admirable traits of determination, self discipline, integrity and empowering worth ethic. He is not just your typical rodeo star, but he is the definition of a true cowboy.

Murphy is a 23-year-old rodeo athlete who plants his roots in Keatchie, Louisiana. At the age of 2, he was given a rope that would soon be the answer to his future endeavors. Murphy, had grown up around the sport of rodeo where family members had competed. The atmosphere was something he had fallen in love with, he could feel the intense crowds, and imagined the adrenaline rush that was packed into competing.

This is the addiction he was yearning for, the adrenaline rush. His love for Tie-Down Roping was fueled by his father, KC Murphy, who knew the ends and outs of the event. He credits his father for his early development in roping, as he stated, “My Dad knew the event, he knew what I needed to do to be successful and was able to coach me in that direction.”

At 16, Murphy was winning a lot of rodeos and found he wasn’t so much addicted to the winning, but rather the “what it takes” to be a winner more appealing.

In the years that followed, Murphy took his tie-down roping career to the intercollegiate level, where he is presently competing on the Panola College Rodeo Team.

“Panola College turned me into who I am,” Murphy said. “It was the best thing that has ever happened to me. Coach Jeffrey Collins and Don Clinton are role models that play a huge part in my successful rodeo career.”

Murphy confidently stated, “Coach Collins changed my career. He had a hunger, a craving, for the sport, just as I did. We were driven by the same power, we didn’t love winning as much as we loved the process and the gritty that it took to set us apart from other rodeo athletes.

“It was more of are you in love with the process, and the struggle? For me, that is exactly what I love about it.”

Motivation is not something Murphy lacks; during his freshman year at Panola it was a trying time in his rodeo career. Him and Collins were discussing an overcoming plan, when Collins gave Murphy advice he uses to overcome with today.

“When you push the clutch, are you stopping? No. You are pushing the clutch to jump into another gear. Speed up,” Collins said.

Murphy became the 2021 College National Champion Tie-Down Roper.

“Macon works harder than any guy I know at his event,” Collins said, “I love Macon, he is an amazing athlete, outstanding person, a substantial ambassador for the sport. He has many great things coming his way. He will be tough at the NFR, he will be hard to beat. He is going to come at you all 10 nights.”

Walking into the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas at 23 years old for your first National Finals Rodeo qualification is a bone chilling moment Murphy will never forget.

“2021 season really gave me this years leap, as far as being seasoned,” Murphy said. “I took what I learned from last year on how to rodeo, how to have the mindset and put it in place this year.”

Murphy also gave crucial credit to his who he said are healthy and work to the best of their ability.

Murphy said competing in rodeo can rigorous.

“There is so much you have to overcome in rodeo,” Murphy said. “You don’t just get to celebrate a win much like the NFL, or NBA athletes, you cannot just coast on it. You may win a rodeo, and have to drive 14 hours to the next one, and miss your calf.

“You have to stay focused on your job, and not stay caught up on a win or a missed calf. It is a mind game that has to be beat to allow yourself to know what you are capable of and do it.”

The National Finals Rodeo holds 10 consecutive days of competing in your event; this can be brutal on the body physically and the mind mentally. Murphy is no stranger to that and knows what he will be facing one of the most challenging events of his career against the top 15 rodeo athletes in his event.

“I am going to continue to go to the gym everyday,” Murphy said. “I will continue to eat the best I can. I am going to continue to keep my horses tuned up, and I have also roped a few times in a NFR set up close to the house.

“Rodeo is my job, I am going to treat it as it is my job while I am there and I am not going to do anything that will jeopardize that.”

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