Born and raised in Canby, Oregon Charly Crawford grew up with his dad who was a bareback rider and the self-proclaimed biggest team roping fan on earth.
Charly’s father, Chuck always had good horses and was one of the reasons the crossfire rule was implemented.
Growing up in the Northwest, the summers where always fun because guys like Mike Beers, Allan Back, Jake Barnes, Clay Cooper, and Leo Camarillo would come rope at their house.
Due to the average rainfall being so significant, they could only rope about 4 months of the year outdoors. Chuck had a roping club where there was weekly practices and monthly jackpots.
Charly always got to rope with guys that gave him no choice but to rope the best he could. He made the amateur finals before he made the high school finals. He and his dad would jackpot together, and Charly even did his first roping school at the age of 12.
It took winning for Charly to take roping seriously and once he was accustomed to winning, he never looked back.
“I paid my fees for the Dummy Roping’s by picking up beer cans around the arena”
Before moving to Arizona to attend college at Central Arizona in Casa Grande, Charly took home a state championship and made the National High School Rodeo finals three times.
College was a challenge because he suffered from a learning disability and it was always more enticing to make money. He tended to business long enough to take some teaching courses, make the college finals three times, and work on his farrier skills but never graduated.
Charly bought his PRCA permit in 1997 and filled it at the first rodeo he entered in Tacoma, WA. He was roping with Shane Crossley. In 1998 he won PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year.
The years leading into 2001 were inconsistent, but Charly was focused on gathering up some good horses and making his herd valuable. There are a lot of influences in our sport, but one piece of advice always stuck with Charly:
“It’s not how much you can win on your horses by how much your horses can keep you from winning”
This led to the purchase of “Armadillo” who Charly acquired because of a bet. This horse proved himself by being named Horse of the BFI in 2001 and was Reserve Horse of the Year in 2005.
You should know that through the roller coaster of life and the ups and downs on the rodeo trail that Charly always had an inkling to ride saddle broncs. His curiosity wasn’t fueled by trying to do what his dad did, but because he rode a lot of outside horses and if they’d fart he fell off.
In 2003, Charly was on the kick that he wanted to ride broncs when he got a call from Bucky Campbell to rope. He told Bucky what he had on his mind and all Bucky could say is “Don’t do it!” so, they roped for a while and Charly was back to having those thoughts about bronc riding again when he had the opportunity to roe with Tyler Magnus. Tyler also told Charly “Don’t do it!”
“When one door closes, another door opens”
Pretty soon, Charly was back in the Northwest and Matt Funk called looking for a partner. By this time, Charly was strongly evaluating the option to ride broncs and had decided to back his goals down and get back to basics. He told Matt that he wanted to win the amateur circuit, make the circuit finals, and practice with a purpose. Together they won both amateur association finals and made the circuit finals, but Matt decided to go back to heading so Charly was thinking about bronc riding again. He’d started hanging out behind the chutes, learning the lingo, getting familiar with the equipment and how it all worked.
Now its 2004 and Mike Beers calls, he also says “Don’t do it!” so Charly is back to team roping and learns how to make money. Mike retires and Charly starts roping with Richard Durham. They have a great year and win Houston, Reno, Cheyenne and go into their first NFR in the top 5. Richard never told Charly “Don’t do it” and so while 2005 was going so well Charly finally rode in and won a bronc snubbing event. He got is buckle and called it good.
“I made my first NFR and was in my mid 20’s. It went by so fast. My first run was a complete blur and it felt like we were in the 7th round in a blink.“
In 2006 Charly started out roping with Allan Bach. He taught him how to practice all day every day. He taught him the value of having practice horses. Allan had the opportunity to rope with Chad Masters that year and they ended up winning the world.
Charly finished out 2006 and 2007 with Cody Hentz. In 2007, Charly had to live through being n the bubble and squeaked into the NFR in 15 th place.
In 2008 Charly roped with Tyler Magnus and Jhett Johnson. He and Jhett laughed a lot but could never get in sync.
Russel Cardoza and Charly roped in 2009 and 2010 making the NFR both years. In 2011 all of his horses were hurt and he sat out until making the finals with Jim Ross Cooper in 2012, Ryan Motes in 2013, and Shay Carroll in 2014.
In 2014 Charly lost his good horse Patron and had to revamp his horse herd, yet again. 2015 was good year, winning Houston and the USTRC Finals. 2016 was the year of the ERA. Though it wasn’t a profitable Charly enjoyed getting to work closely with the other members of the association and making new friends.
In 2017 Charly purchased his great horse “Nastee” and Joseph Harrison wanted to experience the NFR so they went on to make it in 2017.
The sport had evolved so much since 2005 and Charly found himself struggling to stay relevant and be competitive in the new formats. He spent most of 2018 working with Speed Williams reteaching himself how to swing, be relevant, and stay competitive.
Rodeoing with Patrick Smith in 2019, there was still a confidence that needed to be found. Charly found it when he and Logan Medlin started roping late in 2019. Early in 2020 they were in the 3’s several times, practice was good, the winter was good, and he was mounted. Charly feels like 2020 was the best year of his career. He got his fifth first time heeler to the NFR, He was 3 at the NFR for a go around win, and he caught all 10 steers.
Charly feels he got the most out of his career. There is no denying that everyone’s dream is to win a gold buckle, but it wasn’t the hand he was delt.
Charly will continue to rope, and rodeo when he can but his focus is on his family and growing his clientele for private lessons and schools.