Pro rodeo athletes are notorious for holding multiple residences.

They’re also notorious for not actually living in the city they call home.

One reason is they’re proud of their roots, and when they rise to stardom in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Professional Bull Riders, they enjoy seeing their hometown get a little ink.

But sometimes it’s a challenge to keep it all straight.

One prime example is two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo barrel racing qualifier Lindsay Sears, who claims her hometown of Nanton, Alberta, in the world standings. But she’s a local story in Lubbock because she recently purchased a home just down the road near the West Texas towns of Ropesville and Wolfforth, southwest of Lubbock.

“We want to list the hometown that we grew up in and there’s some kind of unsaid pride about that,” said Sears who finished second in the 2007 barrel racing world-title race with $230,796 after earning $119,254 at the Dec. 6-15 National Finals in Las Vegas. “We all have to live where we can feasibly rodeo. But you still want to say where you're originally from.”

Sears, who earned an agriculture economics degree from Texas Tech in 2004 after competing on the school’s rodeo team, said she plans to hang out at her Lubbock-area home from September through April. That way, she’ll have a much easier time working high profile regional rodeos such as the Texas Stampede at Dallas in November, the San Angelo Stock Show Rodeo in February and RodeoHouston in March.

Many pro competitors have dual residences because it allows them to compete on the college and pro circuits at the same time. One example is defending saddle bronc riding world champion Taos Muncy, who claims his hometown of Corona., N.M. in the world standings, but he also lives in Goodwell, Okla., because he attends Oklahoma Panhandle State.

In June, Muncy won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association saddle bronc riding title at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Six months later, he clinched the PRCA world saddle bronc riding title after earning $91,754 at the National Finals and finished the year with $201,132.

Add to the list, former National Finals qualifier Wes Stevenson, who lives in Lubbock after competing for Texas Tech. But Stevenson claims his East Texas hometown of Kaufman as home in the world standings. Stevenson missed qualifying for the NFR because of nagging ankle and elbow injuries, but he appears to be on the mend.

Three-time PBR world champion Adriano Moraes is proud of his native Brazil and promotes the fact while competing, but his neighbors in Tyler know he actually calls East Texas home. And many of them will be watching as he competes this weekend at the tour stop in Duluth, Ga. where the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series kicks off its season. Moraes is just one of the numerous high-profile Brazilians who call North America home.

Then there’s Evan Jayne of Marseille, France who finished 19th in the 2007 bareback riding world standings after earning $40,268. Marseille would be quite a commute, but Jayne actually lives near Huntsville. He came to the United States as an exchange student in the late 1990s and competed on the rodeo team at Sam Houston State.

Brittany Hofstetter, a barrel racer who lists Portales, N.M., in the world standings, is a senior at Texas Tech majoring in agriculture communications. She is finishing her bachelor’s degree online. Hofstetter earned $16,923 at the 2007 NFR and finished 15th in the world title race with $70,378. She’s also is a star on Tech’s rodeo team.

Rodeo traditionally requires its athletes to continually migrate from south to north across the country and competitors naturally set up camp near the action. And in a sport that demands even its elite to pay soaring road costs, that just makes good horse sense.

Brett Hoffman is a 20-year rodeo columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. He can be reached at brett@myrodeoinsider.com.

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