Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Dawson Price
story by Lindsay King
“My first memory of rodeo was when I won my first buckle in the 7 and under breakaway, in the COJRA. It is still probably the most memorable buckle I have ever won just because it was at a young age and the first one is always the best one. That just hits home for me,” said 17-year-old Dawson Price. After making the short round in three events – steer wrestling, team roping and calf roping – at state finals, Dawson has plenty of buckles to choose as his favorite. “I came in third in the steer wrestling by only one or two points when finals started. The steer wrestling wasn’t too hard, I just had to throw at least two steers and I would make it to nationals.” He took home first in the average in that event, sending him to nationals for his first time in high school.
In eighth grade, Dawson won the second round of junior high nationals with a 5.94-second run in the ribbon roping. Now a high school senior, Dawson made a strong case in his other two events for a ticket to nationals. “It was hit and miss in the team roping. We placed in the second round which got us into the short round, but we finished in the top fifteen.” Another second-place finish in the second round of state finals gave Dawson the chance to compete in all three events in the short round. “I broke the barrier in the first and short round of the calf roping. But that second place helped me finish in fourteenth for the year.”
It wasn’t the nationals Dawson had dreamed about, but it was still an experience he hopes to repeat in his final season. “My dad (Dustin) always says ‘if were easy, everybody would do it.’ Rodeo isn’t easy, but it’s what I want to do.” As the first generation to take rodeo on the road, Dawson and Dustin went through some growing pains while they were figuring the sport out. “There were points in my calf roping career where dad and I struggled a bit to get it all figured out. We ended up doing it the hard way.” As the oldest of three – Regan, 13, and Sydney, 10 – Dawson gets to pass his hard-fought wisdom down to his siblings. “It’s fun being the older sibling, I can teach them things that we didn’t know how to do. My little brother will benefit from that knowledge because he won’t have to go through the struggle that we did.”
Dawson’s dad grew up riding and roping, but didn’t reach the level of competition that his son is currently pursuing. “My dad helped me learn the basics and then found people to help me improve even more. He is for sure the most influential person on my rodeo career.” Dawson’s mom (Kerry) is also a key player in his rodeo game. “She’s always behind the scenes. If she isn’t helping the OHSRA with timing or something, she is keeping track of times to see how I did that day. She is my biggest cheerleader.”
As this homeschooler begins his final season, he is looking for another shot at nationals of course but has some other goals along the way. “I just want to do the best that I can on every calf and steer that I draw. I want it to be a fun year because it is my last one before I have start real life.” His final decision on a college is still up in the air, but Dawson is thinking about becoming an Oklahoma State University cowboy and pursuing a degree in animal science. Until then, he has his sights set on keeping up with the tough competition in his state. “My dad always says ‘you can’t be a legend in your own backyard.’ If you want to know where you are in your rodeo career, Oklahoma is where you go because it doesn’t get much tougher than that.”