story by Lily Landreth Jaytyn Hash took home his first NLBRA world title at the 2019 NLBFR last summer in the team roping, a victory […]
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Meet the Member Rio Nutter
Second only to God and his family, rodeo is everything to 13-year-old Rio Nutter. The second generation Little Britches cowboy from Rapid City, S.D., was mesmerized by the sport even as a baby, and learned to rope as he learned to walk, the first step on the road that led him to winning 2015 NLBRA Reserve World Champion Team Roper with his close friend, Bodie Mattson
Rio competes in the NLBRA in breakaway roping, ribbon roping, goat tying, and team roping as the header. He made the short-go at the 2015 NLBFR in goat tying and team roping – the first time he has qualified for the final round in two events – and he also made history at the Heel-O-Matic booth during the NLBFR. He won the company’s newest dummy, the LeapSteer, after roping it 100 times in a row – a feat which could not even be achieved during the NHSFR or other finals rodeos.
“Little Britches has taught me a lot about commitment and hard work, but mostly relationships,” says Rio. “I’ve been blessed with great friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I’ve had a lot of mentors in rodeo that keep me going, and I hope to mentor others as well!” Rio is proud to come from a long-standing rodeo family, with numerous relatives having competed in the PRCA, including his great-great uncle, Glen Nutter, who won the steer roping in 1963. Rio’s grandparents, Bill and Dede Peterson, have helped keep him mounted on solid rodeo horses and prepared for the finals. His parents, Tim and Sherrie Nutter, faithfully haul Rio to all his events, while his sister and fellow competitor, Laramie, pushes him on. “My dad won a lot in rodeo from an early age (including two world titles with the NLBRA), and he’s my biggest mentor,” says Rio. He also looks up to Trevor Brazile, and can remember every major WNFR run he’s watched. “Trevor works hard, he’s a humble winner, and he gives the glory to God.”
The Nutter family makes their home a few minutes outside of Rapid City. Laramie, eight, competes in the Little Wrangler flag racing, barrel racing, goat tail untying, and pole bending, which she finished in the top 20 during the 2015 NLBFR. Since the Nutters live only a few minutes from the Rapid City fairgrounds and event center, they often host Little Britches families, starting several years ago with Brady and Riley Wakefield. The two brothers became fast friends with Rio and Laramie through rodeo, and backyard roping competitions. Brady passed away in a car accident just a few weeks before the NLBFR, and Rio made every run in memory of his friend. “Brady was a big impact on my life, and I felt like he was with me through the finals – and he was part of the reason I won reserve world champion,” says Rio.
Outside of rodeo, Rio is a seventh grader at East Middle School. Shop class and P.E. are among his favorite classes, and Rio starts basketball after Christmas break. Also a 4-H member, Rio competes in 4-H rodeo and holds projects in beef, goats, and woodworking. The rest of his time is devoted to roping his LeapSteer, a convenient size for keeping in his room, or he’s out riding his horses, Rooster, Stick, and Squanto. A present from his parents for his fifth birthday, Rooster, formerly belonging to Rio’s good friend, Jade Schmidt, helped Rio win the #1 Tour of the 2015 Wrangler Team Roping Championship finals. The gelding has also carried Rio to every NLBFR, and even U.S. ropings.
Rio’s goals include winning a world title at both the NLBFR and NJHFR before pursuing high school and college rodeo, and eventually a rodeo career in the PRCA. “Rodeo is much more than winning,” he finishes. “It’s who you are, what you stand for, and keeping the cowboy way of life alive. I know my success comes from God, and I thank Him for it.”