story by Hope Raley Neola, Utah mother of four, Chelsie Jensen was raised at horse shows, taking naps in the stalls with the horses and […]
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Meet the Member Colton Humphries
story by Lily Weinacht
“What I like about bull riding is that it’s never the same. It’s always in a different place and there’s a different outcome, and it takes a lot of dedication to be good at it,” says Colton Humphries. The 19-year-old cowboy from Tooele, Utah, started riding steers when he was 13, introduced to the cowboy life by his step-dad, Brad Fullmer. That same year—and his rookie season of junior high rodeo—Colton won state finals, followed by another state title in the bull riding his freshman year, where he beat Ryder Wright by one point.
Colton also competed in tie-down and team roping through junior high and high school, and continues to team rope with Dawson Stewart at open jackpots. Bull riding has always been his strong suit, however, and Colton has learned from one of the best, Gary Leffew. “He taught me pretty much everything I know. My mom told me if I was going to start riding bulls, I was going to learn the right way, and I go to his school every year. I find it cool because he taught Sage Kimzey.” Colton also picked up bull riding with the help of Dean Daniels and Dustin Daniels, who invited him to come get on practice bulls and became good friends of the family. “I really look up to my step-dad, Brad. He does everything possible to support me. He works at the coal mine, then gets home from work and shoes horses and helps me out. So does my mom, Alesa. She’s a barrel racer, and my sister, Kaydence McKinney, barrel races and is going into high school.”
This year, Colton’s final season of high school rodeo, treated him well with a third-place finish at state finals and a qualification to the NHSFR. He’s also won the Panguitch High School Invitational Rodeo the last three years, from 2015-2017, despite several injuries sidelining him. A month after winning the 2017 Silver State International Rodeo—his first rodeo back after recovering from a broken femur—Colton broke his collarbone at a futurity bull riding and re-broke it three more times in the course of six months between wrestling, rodeoing, and hunting. “I want to thank Bar T Rodeo Company, because when I broke my femur, they gave me a job feeding bulls and taking care of the fields, and when I go to pro shows, they make me feel welcome,” says Colton.
Now that he’s fully healthy for the first time since he was a freshman, Colton’s riding continues to improve. He took second at the RMPRA rodeo in Genola, Utah, in June and is sitting fourth in the standings. “I’ve competed in the RMPRA since I was 14, and I won the very first rodeo I entered,” he recalls. “I really like the family connection—it feels like you’re with family the whole time, especially with Circle J Rodeo Company. They really welcome you and take you under their wing.” Colton is also branching into the PRCA, entering on his permit. “It’s kind of uncomfortable because you’re riding against your role models that you’ve looked up to your whole life, but I just don’t think about what’s around me. Either way, it’s just me and my bull competing against each other, and it drives me to be better because I want to make a name for myself.”
Colton also has the start of a small stock contracting business. He’s raising four bulls with Dean Daniels’ help and will start bucking them at futurities later this year. He also works for Brady Watterson doing cabinetry, and brings in extra money in the winter selling coyote pelts through his uncle’s tanner shop in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Qualifying for the RMPRA finals is one of his latest goals, along with qualifying for the PRCA Wilderness Circuit Finals this year. “I’m mostly trying to get myself to living off rodeo all the way so I can spend more time doing what I need to do.”