Meet the Member Dale Davies
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 […]
story by Lily Weinachtv
Lyle Welling has travelled numerous rodeo circuits, including the PRCA Great Lakes and Mountain States circuits, but he’s become a snowbird in the last year, making his home in Benson, Ariz., for the winter and much of the GCPRA rodeo season. The 37- year-old saddle bronc rider is originally from Crawford, Neb., but after meeting his wife, Cindy, at a rodeo in Tucson, the couple decided to divide their time between both Arizona and Nebraska.
Lyle grew up training colts and ponies with his brother, Mike, and sister, Kari, while their two older half brothers, Roy and Joe Lemmon, rode saddle broncs. Lyle also divided his time between helping his dad build custom bits and spurs and competing in junior rodeos, but it was only a matter of time until the bronc riding snagged his interest. “Rodeo runs through your veins, and you can’t control it,” says Lyle. “There’s been years I didn’t feel like going as hard, and then I regretted it, but that bug is there, and sometimes you need a break to realize you’ve still got it.”
He’s been competing in the GCPRA for three years since meeting Cindy, currently sitting third in the standings. He does most of his travelling with fellow saddle bronc rider Shaun Ebert, as well as Cindy, who is an accomplished breakaway and team roper. “They really have a good set of horses and the stock contractors down here are pretty good,” Lyle says of the GCPRA. “Plus, they have bigger rodeos a guy can hit that pay out pretty good. I also hit PRCA rodeos, so between them and the GCPRA, I can fill up a weekend.”
During the week, Lyle is in his shop, having taken over his dad’s custom bit and spur building business. “The average pair of spurs takes about three days to build with one guy. I do all custom work, so I don’t build in bulk,” he explains. Since he’s often the night driver to and from rodeos, Lyle keeps the same schedule throughout the week, doing most of his custom work in the cool of the day. “I’ve always been a night owl, whether I’m working or driving. I don’t like the heat, so it works out pretty good. I’ve travelled with a lot of different people and situations, so not too much bothers me,” he says with a laugh.
The first year he travelled the Great Lakes Circuit, Lyle hauled with Wade Sundell and Roy Tony, and in 2009, he won the saddle bronc riding at the Great Lakes Circuit Finals. This summer, he’ll compete on the Mountain States Circuit, but will return for the rest of the GCPRA season by the fall. “Cindy rides and trains barrel horses, so we’ll take four or five with us to Crawford,” he says. Lyle and Cindy will be living about 18 miles south of Crawford, where the population will reach five when the Wellings return. Cindy is also a teaching consultant, travelling to five or six different schools in a week. Any vacation time that doesn’t go to rodeoing, however, goes to world travelling. “I thought I travelled for rodeoing, but when I met my wife, where she likes to travel requires a passport,” says Lyle. “We’ve gone to Mexico and Jamaica, and we’re hoping to go to Australia soon. I know some Australians that rodeo, so they’re giving us some heads up on where to go.”
As for travelling the rodeo trail, Lyle’s constant goal is to continue competing as long as he’s able. “For goals, sometimes you lose them, or you have to try a smaller goal, but going to the NFR never goes away,” he finishes. “That’s my main goal and it gives me purpose.”
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