story by Siri Stevens Tony Keeton started his company, Rockin’ K Rodeo in 2017. It’s not his only full time job. Tony has worked for […]
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Meet the Member Tyler Foster
By Lindsay Whelchel
Rodeo north of the border in Canada has its own special energy and charm, but the cowboy spirit and the ranching family values show up just the same as anywhere else. Tyler Foster and his family live it every day.
The Foster family runs a cow/calf operation in southern Ontario, Canada, with Tyler’s dad also working a family business of catching cattle for other ranchers and having well-trained Catahoula and Cur dogs to aid in the task.
“We’re known around Ontario for our dogs and good horses and being able to find cattle, so that’s kind of fun. Whenever you get a cow-catching job everybody likes to jump in the truck and go hunt them,” Tyler says, explaining he can remember helping his dad from a young age riding ponies, and that they’ve oftentimes had to travel far because the land around Ontario is more crops and less fences, prompting cattle to escape farther distances.
Spring is spent busy with calving season and summer heats up for rodeo, though Tyler assures the ranch work is never done. “You can always make hay when you come home from a rodeo. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of the year it is,” he jokes.
Nevertheless, rodeo has become a huge part of Tyler’s family. His uncle started one of the very first rodeo companies in Ontario, and his dad taught Tyler how to steer wrestle and hazed for him for years. Tyler credits his parents for their support as he competed in high school rodeo before moving up in the professional ranks.
“My [parents] hauled us everywhere when we were in high school rodeo, all the way out to Wyoming a couple times, and I look at it now, and I say ‘wow that’s something special for them to go all those miles, and there’s no payoff. The only reward is getting to see us fulfill our dreams,’ so I owe a lot to my mom and dad and also my uncle. He helped me start with his rodeo company, and he also helped me buy my first bulldogging horse, so that got me going there. He’s always told us to keep going and do what we love, so that’s what we’ve been after,” Tyler says and adds that he has his girlfriend Britt, a brother and three sisters and locals in his hometown who also support him. His older sisters care for his horses while he’s on the road. “I owe a lot to them too. Without them I don’t think the horses would have been going down the road as long as they have.”
Rodeo is all part of living life fully to Tyler. “You only get to live life once so you’ve got to make the most of it. Nobody gets out of this deal alive,” he says.
Tyler competes at both ends of the arena as a steer wrestler and bronc rider. He jokes that his favorite event is whatever he earns a check in that day, but in truth he loves it all. He’s qualified multiple times to the International Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City for the IPRA, where he’s been a Reserve champ, a National All-Region champ and a Canadian champion.
He’s learned a lot on the rodeo road, specifically to take good care of your horses.
“You learn a lot on the road, because it’s hard on them. That bulldogging team going all the miles that we go, you know you think about it when you’re sitting in the truck or sleeping, they’re standing in the back the whole time, so you’ve really got to take care of your animals.”
In addition, you’ve got to find people you enjoy traveling with. Tyler cites the friends he’s made with helping him win.
“Our rodeos are always 12 hours from us when we go to the eastern side of Canada and through the guys that we’ve met we’ve actually be able to get on some good horses in Quebec. The big rodeos there I try to take my horses, but if there’s some that aren’t as big or we’re going to a couple bronc ridings too, then we’ve met enough guys that we can mount out on some nice horses, and it’s really helped a lot in the last few years on saving the miles on my team and also being able to place at the rodeos up there, because you’ve made enough friends and everybody trusts you, so you get to ride some good ones.”
This year, Tyler will be back out there in the states and up north all summer chasing another IFR qualification and a world title or two…