Mickey Gee’s last rodeo: Dean champion retires from steer wrestling

Mickey Gee competes in the seventh performance of the Calgary Stampede. Gee threw his steer in 4.0 seconds to split first place in the go-round. (Photo by Mike Copeman Photography)

By Kathy Floyd
Pioneer Sentinel

Mickey Gee has wrestled his last steer. The champion steer wrestler from Dean announced that his performance at the Calgary Stampede July 16 was his last rodeo. Although Gee was not able to participate in the $100,000 round because of a torn pectoral muscle, he was satisfied with his run. “I’ve had a good turn,” Gee said.

Gee’s decision to leave behind the championship rodeo world was not a hard one. This last year on the road has been tough, being away from his wife Amber and his two children, 8-year-old daughter Hadley and 5-year-old son Cooper. Gee said that his family was behind his decision 100 percent.

Gee’s PRCA career highlights include winning it all in 1999 — the $50,000 bonus round at Calgary, the National Finals Rodeo and the World Championship, then in 2003 when he again qualified for the NFR and won the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. Those times were good, but Gee said this year’s NFR meant more to him because his family was with him and could watch him compete.

Gee will miss his fellow cowboys, but he will be glad to leave the road miles behind. As in any competition, the pressure to win can be overwhelming, especially when you have to win to pay the bills. “It’s tough. You can win a lot, but it takes a lot too,” he said of the costs of the rodeo life. Gee said some may have felt like the world collapsed if they didn’t win, but he sees a bigger picture. “There’s a lot more to life than rodeo.” Gee has taken a steady job working with Wichita Falls car dealer Harry Patterson selling agriculture-related products.

Now, time on the road for the Gee family will be to take Hadley to barrel racing events. And what if Cooper decides he wants to try the rodeo life? “I’m behind him 100 percent,” Gee said. “And I’m behind him 100 percent if he decides to play the piano. You’ve got to like what you’re doing to be good at it.” Gee thanks his parents, dad Dennis and stepmother Donna, and his mother Barbara Cordova, for making his time out on the road a little easier with support and encouragement, whether it was financial help or just a phone call.

Don’t look for Mickey Gee to make a run for old time’s sake when the next rodeo comes around. The former world champ will be sitting back, relaxing and not worrying about how fast he can throw an ornery steer into the rodeo arena dirt.