story by Lillian Landreth “I love the competition and you meet so many more people through rodeo than other sports. Those are the top two […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Tayson Jones
story by Lillian Landreth
“I’ve always wanted to be good and have fun with it [rodeo] no matter what happens, and keep mentally preparing myself for every rodeo I go to,” says SDHSRA senior Tayson Jones. Tayson was invited to compete in saddle bronc riding at the 2022 20X High School Rodeo Showcase and won it. “The horse I got really jumped out from underneath me, but I just got myself in there and kept hustling, and had fun with it,” says the 18-year-old from Faith, South Dakota. He also competed at the 2021 NHSFR in saddle bronc riding.
Tayson competes in steer wrestling and team roping in the SDHSRA as well, though saddle bronc is his favorite. Tayson’s dad, Eric Jones, and uncle, DJ Martin, both rodeoed. Eric competed in saddle bronc riding, bull riding, and steer wrestling through college and the professional level. Tayson wanted to follow in their stead, beginning with 4-H rodeos when he was eight, and then on to junior rodeos. He tried his hand riding calves, but didn’t care for the event. “For whatever reason, I got to my freshman year and wanted to ride broncs. My parents didn’t think I’d have the guts to do it, but I went to the Broncs, Bulls, and Bibles school in Faith and covered my first bronc, and ever since then I’ve been hooked. I like the adrenaline rush and how everything is just so fast. You have to be really quick and alert and know what you’re doing.
“I look up to my uncle DJ Martin in the bronc riding. And my dad has always pushed me to be my best,” says Tayson. “My parents, Eric and Chasity, are a big part of helping me find a place to practice or helping me with my entry fees.” There are about five students at Faith High School who also compete in roughstock, and they practice on a bucking machine after school as much as possible. Tayson also works on his technique and muscle memory on the spurboard, then practices steer wrestling on his family’s steers in the spring and summer. “My team roping partner, Jacob Long, is a neighbor of ours, and he comes over to rope with us and practice.”
Also part of the team are Tayson’s horses, Arlo and Dunny. Tayson and his dad started Arlo several years ago. “We have a really good bond. He trusts me, and I trust him to get the job done. My team roping horse is Dunny. He’s been in the family since he was a colt, and now he’s 17. He knows his job really well—as soon as you dally, he’s turning the corner to help the heeler make a good run.” Along with practicing with his friends, Tayson also likes spending time around the fire with them on weekends, as well as helping his family run their cattle ranch.
Tayson graduated from Faith High School this spring, where he enjoyed playing football and studying history. He was also a member of FFA, and his chapter qualified for state this year in poultry. Although he didn’t finish in the top four at SDHSRA state finals this year, he’s cheering his sister Jaysee on in the goat tying at the NHSFR. Tayson plans to attend Sheridan College in Wyoming this fall and get a degree in welding, while also competing on the college rodeo team. Before that, he’s competing in 4-H state finals in saddle bronc riding and steer wrestling in August, and plans to go for rookie of the year in the SDRA and NRCA next season. “I want to try my hardest no matter what, and try to make the College Finals as well.”