story by Michele Toberer Dale Davies has been blessed to live a life centered around horses and rodeo. Growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado as […]
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Meet the Member Devon Burris
story by Lily Weinacht
Devon Burris entered his first GCPRA rodeo eight years ago on Labor Day weekend, backing into the box to team rope with his dad. Today, the 24-year-old from Queen Creek, Arizona, is sitting second in the GCPRA tie-down roping standings, and continues to enter the team roping and steer wrestling. “I grew up wearing boots and shorts and a hat—I wanted to be a cowboy. Both my grandparents have a ranch, and my dad and mom made the college rodeo finals so I’ve been brought up that way,” says Devon.
Like his parents, Jeff and Kelly Burris, Devon college rodeoed, competing for two years on Hill College’s rodeo team in Hillsboro, Texas, followed by two years on Central Arizona College’s rodeo team in Coolidge, Arizona. He qualified for the CNFR in steer wrestling his 2016/2017 season, mounting out on steer wrestling horses after his own horse passed away, but chose not to enter the finals. Since finishing college, Devon has traveled many miles down the rodeo trail, and escaped the heat of Arizona for a month and a half after the Fourth of July to rodeo in Colorado and Wyoming. He competed in CPRA and PRCA rodeos, including Cheyenne Frontier Days, and won several ropings, along with qualifying for the World Series Finale. A heeler, Devon qualified for the 13 with fellow GCPRA member Nate Singletary, and they were raised to the 14, while he also qualified in the 12 with his friend Dallas Chavez when they won the WSTR qualifier in Globe, Arizona. “Dallas has two spots, so maybe we’ll be in the 13. At Labor Day, there’s a World Series I’m trying to qualify in for the 11 so I can go across the whole series,” explains Devon.
He took three horses with him for the summer run—his heel horse, Short Stop, and two calf horses, Tank and his sister’s horse Ruby, whom he calls Cardi B. “The younger one, Cardi B, I rode pretty much all summer besides at the PRCA rodeos, and she’s working really well now. I always try to send my family videos if I can.” Devon’s younger sister, Makena, runs barrels and ropes, while their two younger brothers, Hudson and Seth, are avid baseball players. “My parents and my grandparents, Craig and Carole Heimburg and Tink and Phyllis Burris, are my biggest supporters. I’m my worst critic, and my parents always push me along and bring me back to the old equilibrium. You always have your heroes, and Brent Lewis has so much try it’s unbelievable to watch. I’ve roped against him, and he’s taken my entry fees a time or two,” Devon jokes. “Rodeo is one of those events where everything is there but you have to put it together for yourself and build your own style.”
When he’s not rodeoing, Devon works in his family’s tire store, Roberts Tire Sales, which has been in the family for several generations. Around 10 o’clock every night, he loads up horses and hauls them to his family’s arena to rope calves, then hauls to the Chavez family’s arena to rope steers until midnight or later. On weekends off, Devon ropes the Heel-O-Matic, and loves to spend time with his family. “We’re all about having fun. We’ll play some baseball in the park, and between the roping arena and the batting cages at our house, we always have some type of tool we’re messing with.”
Along with qualifying for the GCPRA finals for the third time, Devon hopes to return to Colorado for the CPRA finals this fall, and qualify for the Turquoise Circuit Finals. “The World Series at the end of the year will hopefully be the Christmas bonus, and next year I’ll reset the clock, do what I know how to do, and better it from there. I want to give a big thank you to my parents, grandparents, siblings, good friends, and Roberts Tire, my main sponsor. They do a lot for me.”