Meet the Member Ryan Bestol
story by Lindsay Humphrey “I’m not much of a planner,” said Ryan Bestol of his storied rodeo career so far. “When I get something in […]
story by Lindsay King
If you’re afraid of heights, some sage advice might be to face it head on. That’s exactly what Dustin Wyckoff did when he chose to become a lineman after graduating from Northeast Community College with a utility line degree. “Little did I know that you can get over a fear of heights pretty quickly. The first pole I climbed made me realize it wasn’t too bad after all. It was kind of fun after that,” said the Broken Bow, Nebraska, resident. He continued to climb poles for Custer Power for nine years. Dustin’s transitioned to the engineering department where he now helps map out routes for powerlines.
When Dustin isn’t electrifying Custer County, he’s team roping. However, that wasn’t always his first choice when it comes to rodeo. “In high school I put all of my efforts towards calf roping. About seven years ago now, I had some knee and hip problems that made me think I should remain on my horse.” Dustin competed in the Great Plains Region his first year in college, but his calf horse was getting older and he decided to focus his attention solely on school. Today, Dustin isn’t short on horse flesh by any means.
He’s adopted a new philosophy when it comes to horses: I have to sell my horse before I get too attached. That mark seems to come consistently around when the horse turns ten years old. “If I get a good horse, I tend to get attached and I keep them until they’re old. I’ve ran out of mounts by doing that in the past.” Somewhat of a horse trainer himself, Dustin has a 9-year-old mare he’s been seasoning for the past couple of years. After getting out of the calf roping business, it was only natural for Dustin to find his way to the heel side of team roping.
“I tried heading for a little bit but didn’t really like it. Bobby Harris helped me learn how to catch and to know why I was doing it well.” Surrounding himself with successful ropers has proven monumental to continuing forward motion for Dustin. He abides by the rule most professionals hold close: surround yourself with people who are better than you and you’ll get better too. “I just try to surround myself with good people that know how to win. They have made me better in the long run. I didn’t really understand that until I really looked at who I was roping with and why I was there.” Aside from Bobby, Travis Lymber and Ray Brown have given Dustin a leg up in his roping in recent years. “Travis is outstanding, he’s a great horseman and a good person all around. He will help you be a better person.”
Part of that winning mentality is Dustin’s positivity. “If you stay upbeat and keep the people around you positive, it’s a lot easier to have fun while working hard. At the end of the day, money doesn’t make you happy it’s doing what you love and trying your best.” The people in the cab of the truck can make or break the long hours behind the wheel. Dustin recognizes this firsthand and makes a point to choose his traveling partners carefully. “I’ve traveled with a lot of people over the years and if you travel with good people it makes for a good experience.” Dustin has become somewhat of a homebody. He didn’t travel more than 100 miles from the house the year he made the NSRA finals. Of course, he bent the rules a little bit towards the end when he was on the cusp of making it.
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