LOVINGTON, N.M. – Brice Chapman isn’t from Lea County, N.M., but he knows just about every inch of the land around here.
Chapman is a cowboy from Lubbock, Texas, and knows the value of hard work. He’s carried that tune into Lea County many times over his career, whether it was performing rope tricks at the Lea County Hall of Fame or shoeing horses near Jal, there’s not much of this country he doesn’t understand.
“Lea County has been fantastic to me,” Chapman said. “All of eastern New Mexico is made up of a bunch of good people that are actual cowboys. They’re a tight-knit group of people.
“I’ve been doing a show at the Lea County Hall of Fame for 27 years, and I shod a lot of horses over there.”
Now he will be part of the Lea County Fair and Rodeo, serving as one of the daily entertainers during the nine-day expo scheduled for Friday, Aug. 4-Saturday, Aug. 12, at the Lea County Fairgrounds in Lovington.
“That hall of fame gave me the Silver Recipient Award last November,” he said. “That place has so many world champions that are represented. Those people understand rodeo as much or more than anybody.”
They also understand cowboy, which is why Chapman is part of this year’s fair.
“The town people come to the cowboy lifestyle, and it attracts those people to do that to our way at that fair and rodeo,” he said. “It’s going to be fun. I’ve performed a lot over there, but I’ve never performed at the Lovington fair.”
He’s adding to his show, but he’s keeping it in the family.
“My little girl, Grace, trick ropes,” Chapman said. “She helps me, and we’ll have our wagon and horses. I’ve got a little bit more, but it’s still Western.”
That’s important to Chapman and to the folks in Lea County. The southeastern most county in New Mexico is very much cowboy, and that’s the perfect appeal for the talented roper from west Texas.
“What I want the crowd and the people to say when they got through watching our act is that they got their money’s worth,” he said. “I want them to be able to have a hands-on experience. Mine is just a small part of the fair, but I want them to leave the fair with a fulfilled desire to go back.”
That is what a performer thinks about when it’s time to put on the show and why Chapman is such a vital part of the craft of the fair.
It’s why being a showman is such a big part of who Brice Chapman is.
Courtesy of twisTEDrodeo.com