Meet the Member Jenna Pruitt
story by Hope Raley 2022 Colorado Pro Rodeo Association Year End Champion Barrel Racer Jenna Pruitt took a 5-year hiatus from running barrels, and if […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Tyler Mattarocci doesn’t consider himself a bull rider, but he’s currently leading the bull riding in the CPRA. “I’ve ridden bulls my whole life, but I haven’t really worked toward it like I have roping,” the 25-year-old from Pueblo, Colorado, explains. “Team roping is what I do every day, and practice and train my horses for.” This is his rookie year in the CPRA, while his brother, Clay Mattarocci, won 2015 Rookie of the Year in bull riding. “We grew up roping and riding bulls on and off, but I could rope ever since I knew what a rope was,” says Tyler. “My dad, Frank Mattarocci, was always there for me, and my mom still comes to my rodeos. I was also inspired by my grandpa – he did bareback riding.”
Tyler placed in the bull riding at the NLBFR growing up, along with winning saddles in the team roping in the CJRA and CJHSRA. He worked his way through high school rodeo and competed for a year at Lamar Community College before taking a hiatus from rodeo and going to more ropings like the USTRC and World Series. “I was fifth headed into the college finals, but I’d missed a couple of rodeos because of concussions. I had a son and decided to give up bull riding for a few years. My motivation to rodeo is being happy, and moving forward in life and doing things for my son.”
While the bull riding has been treating Tyler well, placing in the Penrose Roughstock Rodeos earlier this year and winning a Buckers Unlimited bull riding in May, team roping is where many of his goals are set. “I’m good at it, and I want to get better – I’ve won a couple World Series and USTRC ropings,” says Tyler. He ropes both ends as a 6+ heeler and a 6 header, but prefers heeling. “I’m hoping to find a team roping partner, and I may be using Don Stanga’s calf horse for tie-down roping. I’ll be traveling with him this year. The only time I really roped calves was in college, and I’m just getting back into it.”
During his year at Lamar Community College, Tyler was in the horse training and management program, and he takes in colts and outside horses to train. “Some of them are prospects for myself, or outside horses. My dad would buy colts and show me how to train them, and my year at Lamar went well. Some of the horses I started went on to (PRCA roper) JW Borrego, so I’ve sold some nice horses around here that I trained. I have a pretty nice mare right now, Mylee, that I’m heeling on, and I’d like to start tie-down roping on her.”
Along with training horses, Tyler is an electrician at Fillmore Electric. “I’ve been with them for about a year, and then I rodeo on weekends. Once I get home in the afternoon, I saddle my horse and go rope, or I’ll take care of the house or go fishing. I usually go by myself, but I have a twelve-year-old cousin who likes fishing with me.
“Hopefully I can win the bull riding in the CPRA this year and place in the all-around,” Tyler finishes. “I plan on going to all the CPRA rodeos, and I’d like to try for the all-around since I’m doing the team roping and tie-down roping this year.”
Rodeo Newstm (ISSN 1934-5224) is published 12 times a year, semi-monthly May-Nov; once in Dec Jan, Feb., March, and April by Publication Printers, 2001 S. Platte River Drive, Denver, Colo., 80223. Iris Ink, Inc., parent company of Rodeo News is located at 3604 WCR 54G, Laporte, Colo., 80535. Subscriptions are $30 per year. Periodicals postage paid at LaPorte, Colo., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Rodeo News, PO Box 842, LaPorte, Colo., 80535.
Canada Post (CPC) publication #40798037. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without permission. Rodeo News carries advertising and editorials as a service to the readers. However, publication of advertisements and editorials in Rodeo News does not commit Rodeo News to agree with or guarantee any of the merchandise or livestock advertised.