Everyone knows that in today’s era of single-event specialists, Timed Event Titans are a rare and special breed of all-around cowboys. Competing in five rounds of five events—the 2021 Cinch Timed Event Championship is coming in hot, March 11-13 at the Lazy E Arena—requires a lifelong love of the game and a deep respect for rodeo’s ranching roots. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be fun for fans of this cowboy classic to know how Cupid’s magic arrow of love hit members of this year’s Timed Event wolfpack in matters of the heart.
Erich Rogers: Newlywed
There’s nothing much more romantic than getting married. Erich Rogers and longtime girlfriend Danna Whitford were hitched last Saturday, February 6 at the Windmill Winery in Florence, Arizona. His groomsmen included Dustin Bird, Derrick Begay, Aaron Tsinigine, Shane Wilcox and Paden Bray, who’ll heel for Rogers at both the Timed Event and the BFI, which is now tacked on to the Timed Event on Sunday, March 14, as part of Championship Weekend at the Lazy E.
“We’re both crazy in love,” Erich said of tying the knot after dating for five years. “Danna knows me, she loves me and she loves my daughters. She’s fun, and we have fun together. Now we’re one big, happy family.”
The morning after their wedding, Rogers hopped on a plane to fly to Texas, so he and Bray could head for the rodeo in Jackson, Mississippi.
“Typical cowboy wedding,” Rogers grinned. “Get married and gotta go. But she knows how it is. And I’ll be home Sunday in time for Valentine’s Day.”
Daniel Green: Superhero Husband
After a two-year absence, three-time TEC Champ Daniel Green returns to the prestigious Lazy E lineup. Green missed his beloved Timed Event in 2019-2020, because he loves wife Shawnda more. And she needed him. In January of 2019, Shawnda was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a scary, sudden-onset illness that’s caused by immune-system damage to the nervous system.
“She was perfectly fine one day after recovering from a stomach virus, and a few days later she was paralyzed,” recalls Daniel, who at 48 is now one of the most experienced TEC elders. “Her body just shut down, and it was totally terrifying. I was literally living in the hospital with her during the 2019 Timed Event. Then in 2020, Shawnda had just started work (she’s a radiation therapist) the day before I had to leave to head to Oklahoma for the Timed Event. She was so wiped out when she first went back to work. I just couldn’t leave her.”
Love and loyalty trumped all. Shawnda—”the rock and the glue that holds our family together”—is still gaining strength and going to physical therapy after work a few days a week. But she plans to head up Daniel’s 2021 TEC cheering section.
“Shawnda’s just one of those amazing wives and moms who does it all and is tireless,” Daniel said. “Our family doesn’t function without her. She’s not quite 100 percent. She can’t run yet, but she’s doing so much better. If she’s strong enough to go to the Timed Event, so am I. One of the ways I’m paying tribute to Shawnda’s hard work is to work hard myself and return to the Lazy E Arena.”
Kyle Lockett: Mister Mom
Kyle Lockett—aka “Meat”—is a monster of a man. He’s also a soft-hearted gentle giant who walked away from his rodeo prime to help raise kids, while wife Leigh went to work as a labor and delivery nurse at a local hospital by day. I remember an early morning airport conversation with Kyle a few years back in which he said that Leigh wanted “a basketball team.” Her fifth-baby wish was granted on September 30, 2020, with the birth of Collins Marie. And in the tradition set by Shayla, Georgia, Sutton and Blevins before her, this baby girl melts Meat’s heart.
“She’s pretty sweet,” said two-time TEC titlist Lockett, 43. “She just loves waking up, smiling and stretching in the morning. Kids are everything to me. They’re the next generation. They’re #1, and I do whatever they need. Nothing compares to your kids, including roping and rodeo. If you have a happy, healthy family, that’s a bigger prize than any accomplishment in the arena.”
Lane Karney: Finally a Fiance
“Lane and Jane” has a ring to it, alright. Karney popped the question while sitting around a holiday campfire with his sweetheart and fellow Cal Poly grad, Jane Wood. And come fall, they’ll walk down an aisle of family and friends under a home-country oak tree in California. Lane’s side of the wedding party will include his best man, reigning Timed Event Champ of the World and little brother, Taylor Santos, and 2018 TEC Champ Jordan Ketscher. Tsinigine—who’s heading for Karney and Lockett at this year’s Timed Event, and roping with Lockett at the BFI—will also be a groomsman.
“I’ve always been a happy person, so I never felt like anything was missing in my life,” Lane said. “Then Jane came along. Now I can’t imagine life without her.”
Haven Meged: Love at Last
Haven’s coming back for his second Timed Event in 2021. But he fell in love for the first time since his TEC debut last March. Now we don’t see much of him without Canadian native cowgirl Shelby Boisjoli by his side.
“It’s been great,” Haven said. “We wake up every day and rope together all day. She understands it as good as I do, and it’s fun to train together at the highest level. To get to rope with somebody you love every day is awesome. We help each other, so we can achieve our goals together. I love it.”