Justin Flood is a husband, father, an active duty soldier – and an Extreme Cowboy Racing competitor. His love for adventure and need for speed led him to compete in the Extreme Cowboy Racing circuit (EXCA) developed by Craig Cameron. Ranked Reserve Champion in the Novice Division in Ca/Nv, Justin is successfully competing at regional level and proudly wearing Noble Outfitters.
NO: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
JF: I was born and raised in Modesto, CA and moved to the town of Ripon at the age of six. I graduated Modesto Christian High School in 2002 before enlisting in the Army National Guard. My wife Whitney and I have been married for four years and have a beautiful son named Colton who will be one year old this month. We currently reside in Manteca, CA. My hobbies include spending time with my family, horses, fitness and Jiu Jitsu.
NO: You are an active duty soldier. How and when did you start your military career?
JF: My military journey began shortly after September 11th, 2001 while I was a senior in high school. At the time, I had various football scholarship offerings from a number of universities. While traveling to visit various colleges, I was deeply inspired by the soldiers that I saw serving their country by keeping the airports secure. I wanted a college education, but I also wanted to serve my country. I guess you could say I wanted my cake and to eat it too!
NO: Seems like you got what you wanted. What is your current occupation?
JF: Currently I am a Sergeant First Class on assignment to the 95th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team stationed in Hayward, CA. The 95th WMD-CST is a joint Army/Air Force team with a primary mission to directly support local, state and federal law enforcement and first responders in all things related to weapons of mass destruction. Our team is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to respond to WMD or HAZMAT incidents. In addition to our emergency response capabilities, the 95th CST also provides active monitoring of Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive threats for large sporting events, and Secret Service/State Department missions as well. I served four years as a traditional Army National Guardsmen and have an additional ten years of active service.
NO: One of your hobbies is horses and Extreme Cowboy Racing. How did you start competing in the EXCA circuit?
JF: My wife Whitney who has ridden her whole life initially sparked my interest in riding when we met. She suggested EXCA might be a fun time so we decided to check it out. Although I have only been riding for a short time, I was immediately drawn to the sport for its fast-paced tempo and challenging obstacles for rider and horse. We had such a great time, we couldn’t help but keep competing.
NO: How is the EXCA different than any other western sport?
What I think is amazing about the EXCA is that every course is designed to test the rider-horse relationship in every way possible. EXCA courses present obstacles that not only challenge the horse’s athletic ability, but also challenge the rider and horse as a team. Obstacles are presented in a manner that forces the horse to fully trust his partner at all times. Unlike trail competitions, the course is graded on horsemanship and speed together.
NO: Can you describe Extreme Cowboy Racing to people who’ve never seen it before?
JF: An EXCA event consists of man-made obstacles as well as natural obstacles. A typical obstacle could be a wooden bridge, teeter-totter, water box, fallen logs, tunnels and gates. The rider and horse are timed and must complete each obstacle as quickly as possible while showcasing horsemanship as well. Points are given for the arrival and departure at an obstacle, overall time and horsemanship during the run.
NO: Sounds like you need to be prepared to succeed! One of the important things is comfortable clothing that doesn’t pull or pinch and gives you a freedom of movement that you need while riding. What do you usually wear while competing?
JF: Riders typically wear a cowboy hat, long-sleeve western shirt, pants or jeans and even chaps. I enjoy wearing Noble Outfitter’s Generations Fit Long Sleeve Shirt and the Ranch Tough Vest because of the quality; I know it’s built to last.
NO: Thank you for your trust in our products! We pride ourselves on creating products that riders need and offering them at a value price. Hope that’s one of the reasons why you decided to wear them while competing.
JF: I like Noble Outfitters products for peace of mind. I know when I am wearing or using one of their products I can expect durability and toughness that you just can’t get at your local big box store. I am particularly fond of the Men’s shirts and outerwear and love their animal care items. The first Noble products I ever used was a hoof pick and fly mask. These products could have easily been manufactured with inexpensive materials, but the durability was next to none. I believe in your product, and that is what is most important to me.