story by Lindsay Humphrey Pistol was the horse that taught Spring Pennington to ride and he very likely built the foundation that her confidence stands […]
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Meet the Member Dalton Walker
story by Lily Weinacht
“It’s just the joy of winning and doing good, and your horses working good,” says Dalton Walker of rodeo. “That helps motivate you to want to win and do even more than what you’re doing now.” The 19-year-old from Bertram, Texas, is currently leading the steer wrestling and boys all around in the AJRA, as well as sitting third in the team roping heeling, competing often with Kylee Fenn. He joined the association last season after hearing about it from friends who high school rodeoed with him. A year-end title in the steer wrestling capped off his rookie year, while Dalton also tie-down ropes in the association and steer ropes in PRCA rodeos.
“I enjoy all their prizes and all the added money they have at the AJRA Finals,” Dalton adds. “The stock is really good, so it helps out the competition and makes it tougher, and that makes you have to be better to win. I like the Sweetwater rodeos because of the smaller pens, and the AJRA NFR pen because the arena is so small. I was a 3.9 there earlier this year in the steer wrestling, which motivated me to do better. And I like the big outdoor pens because they give you more of a pro rodeo feel with the long score.”
Rodeo is a family tradition passed down from Dalton’s grandpa to his dad, and now to Dalton, who entered his first roping when he was 7. He went on to high school rodeo and won the year-end steer wrestling in Region 2 in 2016, followed by the year-end steer wrestling in Region 10 in 2018. “My favorite event right now is steer wrestling, and then steer roping. I like the thrill of getting off my horse and throwing a steer, and I’ve been steer roping since last September at pro rodeos. I placed at a couple of permit ropings, and my boss, Corey Ross, and I do that a lot.”
Dalton started working for Corey and living on his ranch with his family last year, and quickly caught his enthusiasm for steer roping. “We rope every morning and every afternoon that we can. He taught me how to steer rope and he’s a real good coach and mentor,” says Dalton. “Matt Reeves taught me how to bulldog. A buddy of mine and I needed some help picking up another event for the all around, and Matt picked us up and he’s helped me out tremendously.” Dalton is also supported by his dad and step-mom, Troy and Tammy Walker, and his girlfriend, Londyn Ross.
Londyn also competes in the AJRA, and Dalton hauls to rodeos with the Ross family. “I have a bay mare named Cisco I used to rope calves on, and she turned into a real nice bulldogging horse and has helped me out a lot. My head and heel horse is Sherman, and he’s my steer tripping horse. Chile is a real nice calf horse, and he belongs to Londyn’s brother, Seth, and Chile works just as good for me as he does for Seth,” says Dalton. “Londyn, Seth, and their parents, Corey and Jaime, have taken me in and done everything they can for me.”
Dalton does full-time ranch work for Corey, and if he’s not tracking steers, he also gets a thrill from fishing. “It’s just catch and release—I don’t like fish,” Dalton says with a laugh. “It’s a fun thing to do.” Competing in USTRC and World Series ropings, as well as the UPRA, also keeps his schedule full. “Sometimes it wears me out, but if I’m winning, I like it. My goal this year is to keep steer roping on my permit, and next year I at least want to make it to the steer roping finals. Then I’d like to bulldog and team rope a bit at pro rodeos and go for the Wrangler National Finals.”