Cowboy Grille ... Heath Ford

PSN: Why did you choose bareback riding?
HF: I started out riding bulls, but I chose bareback riding because that is what I felt I could win money in and what came natural to me. I rode bulls all through college and at a few PRCA rodeos the past couple of years. Up until 2001, I rode bulls quite a bit, but then I figured my brother, Jarrod, was winning enough in the bull riding that I didn't have to try to win any and I could make more money bareback riding since I wouldn't be competing against my brother. That way, one of us opens the rodeo and the other one brings it to a close.
PSN: How did you and Kyle Bowers become traveling partners?
HF: It is funny because starting out, we knew who each other were, but didn't really talk that much. It will be two years ago in June when we started traveling together, and it has been great. I don't know how it all started, but we get along with each other. Before, neither one of us could keep a traveling partner, so I guess it just worked out.
PSN: What do you guys like to do for fun while on the road?
HF: We like to go to a lot of movies. I like to go fishing and hunting, but Kyle doesn't like that much. He likes to play golf and I don't, so we try and trade off every now and then.
PSN: Who is a better golfer, you or Kyle?
HF: Kyle is the better golfer, even though the last tournament we entered, which was in Houston last year, I actually won the trophy, whether he wants to admit it or not.
PSN: Do you remind him of that?
HF: He tried to hide the trophy at his house for a while, so it took me a while to lay claim to it, but now I have it hanging on my wall at home. I try not to let him forget about that.
PSN: So, who is the better fisherman?
HF: I am going to say that I am, but Kyle is like my brother, and we are both very competitive in everything we do. It doesn't matter if it is just who can walk to the van the fastest, we are pretty competitive.
PSN: Does that hold true for the arena?
HF: Actually, that is probably the one thing that we are least competitive about. I am happy if he is winning, and he is happy if I am winning. But anywhere else, I can't stand for him to beat me. We are supportive of each other in the arena, but outside we are fierce competitors.
PSN: What are some of your hobbies?
HF: I enjoy writing songs, mostly country and country gospel. I never know what I am going to write about. It just comes to me, but I really enjoy doing that. I have two or three that I am pretty proud of. Maybe someday I will be a songwriter.
PSN: Favorite musical group?
HF: George Jones and Conway Twitty, but my all-time favorite would be George Strait.
PSN: American Idol or Survivor?
HF: I think I could do well on either one. I enjoy singing, but am not sure how good I am, and I think I could do pretty well on Survivor. I would like to try American Idol sometime.
PSN: If you weren't a rodeo cowboy, what would you be?
HF: I would probably be a tournament fisherman.
PSN: What goes through your mind before you nod your head?
HF: Probably one of the last few things I do before I nod my head is talk to God and thank him for what He has given me.
PSN: What is the first thing you think about after the eight-second whistle?
HF: Where's my hat? I can't seem to keep my hat on, and I don't know why. I used to be able to keep them on, but the last three hats I have had keep coming off.
PSN: Favorite reality show?
HF: Cowboy U on CMT.
PSN: Favorite TV show?
HF: The OC.
PSN: Favorite subject in school?
HF: Math and History. I went to college to be a history teacher, and maybe some day I will go back and finish my degree. I still have to do my student teaching and have a few other things to finish up.
PSN: Favorite breakfast cereal?
HF: Cheerios.
PSN: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
HF: Africa, because I like to look at all different animals, especially any that I haven't seen in person other than the zoo. I think it would be fun to go on safari with my camera and just take lots of photos of all the animals.
PSN: Favorite sports team?
HF: Denver Broncos, far and away.
PSN: What do you think of the possibility of Terrell Owens being a Bronco next season?
HF: I say having a guy that good on your team is a good thing, as long as he keeps in mind that he isn't the team. He would be the first one that I would pick if I was out in my back yard playing football.
PSN: Most famous person you have ever met?
HF: Vice President Dick Cheney. He came to our college, and he got to visiting with me because he was interested in rodeo.
PSN: I understand that you are engaged. Is that true?
HF: I got engaged over Thanksgiving to a girl named Kim Neisius from Minnesota. I would tease her about her last name because I could never say it right. She would tell me it was pronounced like "nice-shus" because she was the nicest person I had ever met. So, when I asked her to marry me, I called her by the wrong name and told her since I could never remember how to say it, the only way I would ever be able to get her last name right was if she would be willing to change it to Ford.
PSN: So, when is the big date?
HF: It will probably be a year from this May, because she wanted to get married in the spring, but this spring was too soon to get things planned.
PSN: If you could go back in time, what one person would you like to meet?
HF: I would like to meet Jesus. It would be neat to walk with him and see how he handled everything since we are supposed to walk in His footsteps. So, it would be neat to see how he dealt with the various things.
PSN: What is one thing you can share with us about your traveling partner, Kyle?
HF: Kyle's nickname is "Pops" because he acts like our dad. We have to check in at a certain time and let him know where we are going. We can't do anything without Kyle.
PSN: Does he put a curfew on you?
HF: It is more of a curfew in the morning. He doesn't like us making noise before 11. He likes to stay up all night, and I am just the opposite, but that works well on the long night drives. I get to sleep all night until 5 or 6, and then I take over and he falls asleep. It works out pretty well for us.
PSN: Who's been the biggest influence on your career?
HF: I would have to say my family in general. My dad has helped me with the physical aspect of rodeo, while my mom has helped me on the mental side. My two brothers, Jarrod and Nic, have been a big influence as well.

The Cowboy Grille appears in each issue of the ProRodeo Sports News which is published bi-weekly by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. For more information or to subscribe, contact them by clicking here.