Justin Maass Interview
May 13, 2008
HOOEY: Hey Justin, how's your season going thus far?
JUSTIN: So far it's going good. I'm sitting around 8th in the world right now. I think I'm leading the Heartland standings which I think will be pretty significant so I can make the Heartland Finals in Waco in October. It takes 30 rodeos so Ill just have to get to enough to qualify.
HOOEY: Is everyone excited about the Heartland Finals?
JUSTIN: Yeah, I think it's going to be a really big deal. It seems to have added a lot to the small rodeos in the state of Texas. I think they've gotten more ropers and it seems like more of the top guys are making those rodeos - guys that may not have made those rodeos in the past few years since they lowered the number we can count.
HOOEY: Tell us about the recovery from your ACL injury. Did it take longer than you expected?
JUSTIN: Yeah, I think recovering from the knee injury took longer mentally than it did physically. The first of last year I was in shape physically but I had the perception that I couldn't go as fast as I could before the injury. So I started to compensate by trying to use my rope a little too much. It caused me to break some barriers and miss some calves I normally wouldn't have. After I figured out I could still rope with the same style as before things started to come around. I feel a lot better now and it seems like everything's back to 100%.
HOOEY: How are your horses working?
JUSTIN: I give a lot of credit to my two horses because I'm one of those guys that if I don't have a good one I might as well stay at home. I feel like I've got two of the best in the business and I actually have a couple more I'm bringing along that I'm pretty pumped about.
HOOEY: Are there any setups that you prefer to ride one over the other?
JUSTIN: You know, not anymore. I thought there for a while that one was better for shorter setups versus longer setups or bigger calves versus smaller calves but I've come to the conclusion now I was just outthinking myself. Now I feel I can saddle up either one of them anywhere I am and have a chance to win.
HOOEY: One of your horses is obviously last year's Horse of the Year "Flip". Who is the other one?
JUSTIN: Oz. I'm actually riding him more now than Flip. Suddenly I just have a little higher comfort level on him. Flip is a horse Scott (Kormos) rode last year and did really well. Flip's great but at this point I'm just feeling a little more comfortable on Oz.
HOOEY: You just finished producing your roping in Giddings. What was it, the 3rd annual?
JUSTIN: Yes, it was the 3rd Annual Lee County Sheriff's Posse Calf Roping Classic. It was a great success. We had 66 open ropers, 40 breakaway ropers, and we had some of the best calf ropers in world competing - Trevor, Cody, Stran, Fred, Blair, Joe, just to name a few. It was an exciting time there in Giddings. There are a lot of people in the community that are really fired up about that roping and I think it will get bigger and better every year.
HOOEY: So it's something you're planning to continue?
JUSTIN: Oh yeah, I don't think I can stop now. There would be too many people mad at me. It's hard work and it's a challenge to get sponsors at times but it's well worth it on the day of the event. It really makes it worthwhile when you see people getting enthused about calf roping. I know our sport can't survive if people aren't excited about it so I'll do whatever I can to help.
HOOEY: We're sitting here in Austin so you're obviously home now. When do you plan to take off again?
JUSTIN: Man, I'm going to stay pretty close to home until the end of June. Then I'll go to Pecos and Santa Fe then out to Greeley. By then I'll be gone for the summer and I'll probably be gone until...oh, you never know...I hope I'll be back by the time Sonora rolls around mid August. If things go well enough it's a possibility to come home by then. But if I still need to solidify my spot at the NFR then I'll stay probably stay out until the end of September.
HOOEY: Is your new baby girl going to be able to make it out on the road with you?
JUSTIN: Definitely. I'm going to take my wife Paige and my daughter Addy everywhere I go. I'm not going to go without them. If I had to leave them at home then I'd just stay home too.
HOOEY: Want to give a shout-out to any sponsors?
JUSTIN: Yes. I'd like to thank all my sponsors: Rattler Ropes, Stanley Autoplex Dodge Trucks right there in Giddings, Southwestern Conversions, Nutrena Feed and West Texas Western Wear. I really do appreciate their support.
HOOEY: That's all for now. We'll catch up with you down the road. Thanks for the time.
JUSTIN: Alright. Thank you.