Haven Meged basically grew up with a rope in his hand. The young Montana tie-down roping phenom said his dad started him out roping newborn calves to tag them. The Meged last name is one that is known around Miles City, Mont. The family not only ranches, but also owns and operates the Miles City Livestock Commission.
If you take a hard-working ranch kid, add calves, a rope and an unwavering sense of determination, the end result is young Meged, who at just 21 years old, has secured a trip to the coveted National Finals Rodeo (NFR), currently sitting second in the world. He is the first Montanan to qualify for the NFR in tie-down roping since Bill Parker did it in the 1980s.
No stranger to the winner’s circle, Meged was a standout nearly from the start of his career, cinching 11 high school rodeo titles before he had even graduated. Last June, he was crowned the College Champion tie-down roper and let’s not forget to mention he was the 2018 Montana Circuit Champion as well.
Meged’s rodeo career took a major turn when he won the 2019 Ram Circuit Finals in Kissimmee, Fla. Continuing the momentum, he kept collecting wins from some of the nation’s most prestigious pro rodeos. Add on a qualification for the Canadian National Finals Rodeo and the title of “Rookie of the Year” for the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association and it is safe to say he crushed it this past season.
It should be mentioned, this is his first year officially competing as a professional in the sport of rodeo.
“I rodeoed on my permit for two years. When I got my pro-card, I set the goal of qualifying for the Canadian National Finals Rodeo and the NFR,” Meged said.
Meged is doing all of this while still being a full-time college student. Modern technology allows him to do most of his schooling online, since he is so busy traveling the rodeo road. This is his final year at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, where he will be graduating with a degree in Agriculture Industries and Agencies. He plans to return to the family ranch once he is through with school.
But first, the National Finals Rodeo.
“It honestly hasn’t hit me yet. I don’t think it will until I back into the box at the Thomas and Mack Center, or maybe during the grand entry,” stated Meged.
Meged has won $ 119,878.84 this past season and is rolling into the NFR just $12,000 behind Caleb Smidt, so it very well could end up being a 10-round fight to the finish. Additionally, he is tied with Shad Mayfield for the Resistol Tie-Down Roping Rookie of the Year. Meged explained this is the first time the tie-down rookies have made it to the NFR, so that title too will be decided at the conclusion of the NFR.
All of Meged’s booming success really wouldn’t be possible without his trusty equine partner, a nine-year-old mare affectionately named Beyoncé. He bought the mare off of Facebook a few years back and he admits she didn’t know much when he first got her, but with some training, the gritty little mare has become his main mount and she will proudly carry him during the NFR.
“I’ll probably never have another one like her,” he said.
Rodeo has taken Meged many places as he has crisscrossed the map, gunning for a spot in rodeo history with the last stop of 2019 being in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 5-14. When asked if the whole town of Miles City will be in Vegas to cheer him and Beyoncé on, Meged just chuckled.
“Oh, it sounds like the whole state of Montana might actually be there,” he said.