I remember exactly where I was when I saw this first-of-its-kind high-action ATV video called Huevos Grandes. I had just returned from the Oregon dunes, picked up a copy on my trip and kept rewinding the tape as soon as it was over to watch it again and again. That video created in me an obsession with all things ATV. I had seen the magazines and heard stories, but for me nothing captured the sport like that film.
From that point on I was determined to make it in the ATV world. I remember telling my mom early on in high school that if it were up to me, I would quit school, load my quad in a semi and tour the country stopping at every ATV race I could. Thankfully that opportunity never arose, as I would have been quick to make an unwise decision.
Through a random series of events, the next fall I found myself boarding an airplane bound for St. Louis, Missouri. I was to attend Greenville College, study accounting and try my hand at college football. While I felt confident I was making a wise decision, I was discouraged knowing I'd be putting riding on hold for the next four years and more than likely kissing goodbye to any hope of ever making it in the industry. Most industry insiders had been racing all their lives, and I'd be starting over again at 22 years old if I decided to try again after college.
My college years flew by, and I watched the industry take leaps and bounds forward. Factory involvement picked up, people were earning a living from racing, and Jon Guetter turned the freestyle world upside down, literally, by landing the first quad backflip. As my senior year drew to a close, I decided to test the waters by attending the Indy Dealer Expo, the single largest gathering of off-road industry companies in North America. While the show was fun, it yielded very little at first. With almost no industry experience, my plan had been to find a company that would allow me to work in their shop during the week and attend the races with them on the weekends. I did meet countless industry names like Daryl Rath, Kory Ellis and the entire Suzuki lineup of Gust, Weinen and Wimmer, but my dream still seemed unreachable.
Then I managed to score a meeting with John Prusac and Jerrod Kelley of ATV Sport. While I never thought of writing as one of my strong suits I decided how better to get involved in the industry than to work for a magazine, and told them my story. Luckily for me, they bought it and allowed me to write an article for the magazine. I didn't know it then, but that story would light a fire in me and, in time, open up a whole new realm of opportunity. To my delight the piece made it to print, but I didn't get that job offer I was hoping for.
Full of determination and...
Full of determination and focus, Seth Fargher set out to fulfill his dream.
After graduation my only immediate option was to return home and accept a position in a bank. This would at least keep me afloat while I continued to pursue my dream. Living in a small town far from any prospects in the industry, I decided to create my own by producing a film highlighting the various action sports professionals that call the northwest home. My key feature would be Justin Homan, a freestyle rider from way back who helped found the sport with Brian Deegan and other FMX giants in the mid-'90s. I launched a website (www.localheroesnw.com
) and began production on Local Heroes Northwest.
A few months later Jerrod Kelley contacted me about contributing to ATV Sport magazine's new blog. I would be part of a panel of experts, and my area would be the ATV lifestyle. I was floored for the opportunity, and my first task was to join Bill "WBGO" Lanphier at DuneFest in Winchester Bay, Oregon, for some testing and event coverage. This was the first of many dream-come-true opportunities for me as I served as a photo rider for a story he was doing on the Suzuki Z400. I hopped aboard the brand-new quad as Bill said, "Find a jump." It was music to my ears, and we spent the afternoon throwing sand, jumping and taking photos for the magazine.