This column might be a bit overdue. Since the launch of the #troydogsquad in January when I sponsored my best friend Kyle Chisholm my life has been consumed with planning and growing…whatever it is I’ve built. I literally signed Grant Harlan to a deal for this summer and now it appears to be a possible lifetime deal. I gave Luke Renzland a sticker to run at Ironman and he’s still running it as we speak. He just got a podium at a J Day Off-Road race and a championship at the Baja Brawl. We’ve done merch, stickers, gone to races, and even opened a bed and breakfast.
During the summer, I noticed we had a void to fill in the squad. We really needed an amateur rider and we really needed someone who can be loud if needed. We hit it out of the park with Ashton Bloxom.
If you’re new to the squad, then welcome, but if you’ve been around you’ll know that I Bobby Reagan’d to get Ash Dog on the squad. Remember the story? The year Aaron Plessinger went 6 for 6 on moto wins in 2013 as a B rider riding for Rock River Yamaha? Well, midweek Bobby Reaan (owner of Star Racing) ran up on the podium and announced he had signed a long-term deal with AP, which obviously turned out to be true. However, at the time it was a ballsy move and no one knew if it was legit at the time. Anyway, that’s how I signed Ash…except I did it from home!
Ash Dog’s dad, Papa Ash Dog, was a shredder as well and raced some amateur nationals (most notably the World Mini’s in Las Vegas and Ponca) in the Pro Classes in the late 1980’s. Ashton started riding at 3, but never really raced or practiced much until he was around 8 years old.
Like most amateur kids, Ash Dog’s year was highlighted with a trip to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. Counting this summer’s edition, Ashton has made six trips total, but has never had a healthy version until this year when he had the least amount of prep. A laundry list of injuries over the years stacked up and after Loretta’s each season he would get hurt and be off of the bike until early spring. In 2018 Ash had enough. A string of concussions and some blown out shoulders took a toll on him physically and mentally. After Loretta’s that summer Bloxom called it quits. It turns out that while riding, his arms would fully go numb and it was diagnosed as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). He quit, went to go to work for his father as an electrician, and cut dirt bikes out of his life… including unfollowing the sport from social media (Troy Dog Note: That is a huge deal for him).
After blowing his shoulder out again in a small comeback ride in 2019, Bloxom decided to get his body fixed for good. He found the right doctor and then COVID hit and he couldn’t have surgery until May of 2020. He rehabbed just in time to do Loretta qualifiers this year and did a quick boot camp before the Regional, cut 80lbs of weight (his measurements not mine), and punched his ticket for Collegeboy and 250 Pro Sport. It is one of sports greatest comeback stories in my opinion.
Bloxom is a product of Shannon Niday’s riding schools, which has helped produce some amazing riders like Trey Canard and Ryan Dungey in the past. Bloxom credits Niday for being a second father figure for him and says that the technique he teaches is the secret to going fast. Ash Dog says that without his teachings he wouldn’t have been able to take almost three years off and go qualify for the Pro Sport class at the Ranch.
Next year is going to be a big year for Ash Dog no matter what. About two weeks ago he did have a tip over that messed his shoulder up. So, WE are waiting on MRI results and we are probably going to get surgery. The goal for 2021 is to get healthy and onto a pro gate. Ash has all of his Pro Am points to race as many rounds in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and he will be attempting to get his SX endorsement. The rest is up in the air at this point, however he did add that he would like to go to Loretta’s one last time.
Ash Dog is 5’4” on his tippy toes and built like a brick shithouse. If he was a dog he would be the strongest American Bulldog with the energy of an Australian Shepherd. All young moms find him hilarious and find it difficult to live without him. He does like to chat and you should get to know him by following him on Instagram (@ashtonbloxom) and Twitter (@AshtonBloxom). He is a great follow especially if you need a laugh.
Ash Dog made his presence felt at the #Vurbshredtour at East Fork a few weeks ago and even made a Vlog about it. The #troydogsquad expects big things out of our one and only am prospect next season and WE don’t even care about the results. WE want him to have fun riding his dirt bike because that is what Ash Dog wants to do. He’s also signed to a long-term pineapple dog squad deal, so get used to hearing about him…he’s going to be around for quite some time.