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That Rodeo Life

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X Factor Roping & Pace Freed

That Western Life Podcast Season 1: Episode 5
X Factor Roping & Pace Freed

“Before I do anything, I ask myself ‘Would an idiot do that?’ and, if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing.” - Pace Freed … sort of?

Growing up on cattle ranches in Idaho, Nevada, and Utah, Pace Freed quickly developed a passion for roping and, specifically, team roping. This led to his creation of X Factor Roping; an all inclusive media program that helps to educate and instruct the future and current generation of team ropers, while also providing analysis, tips, and professional insight from the best in the business. Not only that, but they also livestream some of the biggest team roping events in the country!

Join our That Western Life podcast team as we get the opportunity to interview Pace about his current journey in the world of rodeo and team roping, changes he wants to see in professional rodeo, all things X Factor Roping and the future of his amazing business!

Current ProRodeo Cowboy

X Factor Roping is in its fourth year and has been full time for Pace for the past two and a half years. Balancing a full time business while also finding the time to be able to professionally rope has been a challenge. A successful circuit finals has allowed Pace the opportunity to head to the Ram National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee, Florida, soon which has him rightfully excited about his 2019 season. After not spending much of 2018 rodeoing, Pace has found himself unable to enter the limited-entry Texas winter rodeos, meaning that the RNCFR provides a great opportunity for him to get a head start in the standings.

Podcast Bonus Story: Learn more about Pace and his team roping partner and how they stay mentally strong throughout the season.

What Changes Could Help the PRCA Benefit?

There are many different working pieces when it comes to rodeo; from the added money, stock, and the set-up. It is a very fine balance to get correct for producers and contestants. While rodeo is getting better all the time, Pace believes that we need to continue focusing on the relationships that contestants have with producers, stock contractors and sponsors. This year alone could require the largest amount of money ever needed to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Having those smaller rodeos count, those circuit final monies, and the All American ProRodeo Series Finals counting towards the world standings is very important. it helps those that can’t get out every single week to compete, allowing them to also work a full time job, and having a good rodeo at one of those rodeos can give you the funds and confidence to take the next step in a more rigorous rodeo schedule.

“You hope for the best opportunities and then you do the best that you can when you get them.”

Rodeo Series Highlight; The All American ProRodeo Series

By removing the All American ProRodeo series and the subsequent finals that counted towards the World Standings for the next year, it lessens the focus on attending smaller rodeos. In episode three, we talked with JJ Harrison about the importance of those small rodeos and the communities that are the backbone of professional rodeo.

On the flip side, the counting of those monies meant that some of the larger names in rodeo were found at those rodeos competing to make those finals. It can make it challenging for those up and coming contestants to have to knock out those big names to make those finals.

Podcast Bonus Story: “Can you explain the All American, not to be confused with the American Rodeo, in the PRCA?”

Pace Freed’s Backstory

Texas by way of Idaho

“I grew up in Idaho and spent a lot of time in Arizona and Nevada… which were great opportunities for me. My family is from Utah and Idaho, but I felt that if I wanted to get to a high level of roping… I had to be closer to where I could knock heads with the best guys in the world,’ says Pace about his move to Texas.

X Factor Roping came about when Pace realized that he needed something outside of roping, but was still very passionate about the industry. Take care of business as much as possible and roping every day as well has created the ultimate dream setup for Pace. By staying consistent, he finds that it’ll all work out.

“I can’t waste time, I feel guilty if I don’t wake up really early in the morning,” Pace says about his work ethic and how he stays mentally committed to his multitude of goals. A typical day for him includes the gym, working until he can get outside to work horses, and then working some more.

Podcast Bonus Story: Family ranch history with the ropings they produce and the hoses that they raise.

Horse Power

Futurities, training, barrel horses, and rope horses; these are just a few of the specialities that Pace’s family focuses’ on. A seven-year old horse that he’s riding now, he was also able to ride both the sire and dam in competition. These horses that they have raised has provided a unique opportunity for Pace to continue the equine breeding legacy of his family.

Podcast Bonus Story: Family ranch history with the ropings they produce and the horses that they raise.

“I have another horse that is starting to get in the mix a little bit…he is my sisters horse, she rode him in the World Series Finale when he was four,” says Pace about his current horsepower.

Pace breaks down the difference of his various horses that he uses and where they are the most competitive (i.e. jackpot vs. rodeo, etc.). Switching over to Honey Badger for the 2019 rodeo season has resulted in a big move for him in success.

Podcast Bonus Story: If you got to ride and compete on a fellow contestants horse, whose would it be?

Biggest Win to Date

“That’s an interesting question… to me money doesn’t matter … the best wins are easily the ones where I am dead broke and you’re on your last dollars … riding a horse you bred … [those are] the favorite ones.”

Despite the thrill of winning large amounts of money or the time he won a truck when he was 15 years-old, Pace finds his biggest wins are backing a horse you bred, raised and/or trained yourself into a box for big money or big opportunities.

Podcast Bonus Story: Pace talks about barrel horse stud Frenchmens Guy bloodlines and how those horses work in the rodeo arena and the roping box.

Podcast Bonus Story: Most embarrassing story as a team roper.

Podcast Bonus Story: If you had to do one other every, which would you pick?

If You Could Change or Create One PRCA Rule, What Would It Be?

“I don’t like how the vote is set up and rules are passed right now,” says Pace about one of our favorite That Western Life podcast questions.

While he wants it to tilt more in the cowboys favor, Pace recognizes that it has to have a business background. Conversations and talks about growing the sport and that we are all on the same team are very important. In order to make more money, it is a give and take process that we need to continue to work for.

X Factor Roping

What is X Factor Roping?

Instructional videos for team ropers and ropers is how X Factor Roping first started. It has since branched out to create video content and instruction from some of the best competitors in the industry; showcasing the practice skills and mental fortitude needed to compete on the highest level. For the next level, they have started to do high speed camera filming for different jackpots and ropings, such as the Lonestar Shootout. An amazing opportunity, they have up to four different camera angles which gives both entertainment and educational analysis opportunities for the biggest name and the biggest atmospheres in the world of roping.

X Factor Roping Memberships

At $150.00 each for an annual membership, X Factor Roping provides hundreds of videos for aspiring and competing team ropers. An amazing price, it puts so much into roping and practices, you are able to gain quality information whenever you want. It is a great introduction and supplement to roping lessons that you are already taking.

Future of X Factor Roping

Scaling to the size of X Factor Roping as it grows and develops has been one of the more challenging aspects to balance meeting patron needs and ensuring that the business does not plateau. As technology becomes more prevalent, it provides opportunities to host events online and livestream different industry events besides just roping - such as horsemanship.

“I have no idea where exactly it’s going to be but I do know we have the gas pedal down and we are trying to be where we are kicking out the most and best content that we can to promote everybody in the industry that is doing a good job,” says Pace.


Make sure to follow X Factor Roping on all their online channels listed below, as well as Pace himself. You can get your membership to X Factor on their website here!

X Factor Channels


Pace Freed