Visitation will be held from 3-5 p.m. today, Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Summers Funeral Homes, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the LDS Stake Center, 1150 N. 8th East St., in Mountain Home. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery with a reception afterwards at the LDS Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Summers Funeral Homes, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home.
Daniel was born on Sept. 14, 1985, in Fontana, Calif., to Ramona and David Dopps. He moved to Mountain Home when he was five and "truly considered himself an Idahoan," his family said.
Growing up with his two older sisters, Shannon and Stephanie, he spent countless hours riding and roping with them. "One of his greatest pleasures was roping with his sisters at local team ropings," his family said.
Daniel started down the path to bull riding when he was just six, starting out with sheep riding, moving on to calf riding, then steer riding. "When he moved up into bull riding, he was very fortunate to have many veteran bull riders help him in the sport he loved," his family said. "Anyone who knew Daniel knew that he was a cowboy."
One of Daniel's greatest joys was hunting season -- any hunting season. He loved hunting in the hills above his house and many times just loved going with his friend, Greg, and hunting. One of his accomplishments was training his black lab, Hunter. He and Greg spent many hours working their dogs and talking about duck hunting and pheasant hunting season. There was always a hunting regulations book on the kitchen table and wet waders at the front door.
"We had many nicknames for Daniel," his family said. "Triple D, Little D, Cowboy, Dudie, and he answered to them all.
"Daniel had many people who helped him to achieve his life goals. His grandma Gladys and grandpa Pete, who were always there when he needed them. His grandpa Pete always made sure that he had good horses to ride and his grandma made sure that he always had whatever he needed.
"Mike Pope was one of his greatest supporters," his family added. "Mike spent countless hours talking to Daniel about what it took to be competitive. Some of their best times were spent in the roping pen. Pat and Juanita O'Maley of Slash T, were special friends. Daniel enjoyed going to any rodeo where Slash T stock would be."
One of the highlights of Daniel's life was drawing Snake Eater at the ICA Finals, and then riding him. From the first time that Daniel met Jim and Jan Youren, he was one of their "kids." The time he spent with Cole and Zane was countless and they had more fun than any three boys could.
"Justin Davis, his best friend, partner in crime and traveling partner. Walt, Jake and Buford Ireland always took the time to help Daniel whenever he needed it, from taking him on roundups when he was just seven to pulling his rope at a rodeo.
"His uncles Aaron, Gary and Larry were never far from Daniel's thoughts. He was thrilled when he knew he would get the opportunity to see them and enjoyed going to the gym with Larry. He loved the books that Gary recommended he read and he knew that his uncle Aaron would always send him home with great stuff for his horses and cows.
"His aunt Sylvia was a special delight for Daniel. He would call her while he was on the road going to a rodeo. He especially liked when he forgot that there was a one-hour difference and called her at 5 a.m. She would always tell him 'God Bless' and "'make sure you ride for 8.'
"Daniel's relationship with his sisters was everything to him," his family added. "From the time he was born, they were always looking out for him, making sure that he didn't get hurt, helping him with his homework. He loved every minute that he spent with them roping in the front yard, teasing them, roping them, and tying them up to the tree. They were always there for him and he for them.
"Daniel wanted for nothing when his two big sisters were with him. Anyone who met Daniel knew that they had made a friend for life. The list of people that Daniel touched in his almost 20 years is endless and you know who you are.
"Daniel would want us to always remember that rodeo was not just a way of life, that it was his life."
Daniel is survived by: his mother and father, Ramona and David Dopps of Mountain Home; his sisters, Shannon Dopps of Mountain Home, Stephanie King and brother-in-law, Gene; his maternal grandparents, Pete and Gladys Gallegos of Riverside, Calif.; two nieces and a large number of aunts, uncles and cousins.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be sent to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.