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Meet the Member Trevor Lattin
story by Michele Toberer
Not everyone finds their lifelong love at 11-years-old, but for Trevor Lattin of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, the day he got on his first bareback pony at a Ward Rodeo School in Colgate, Oklahoma, a love affair started with bareback riding and he has only become more smitten in the six years since. “I fell in love with it, I couldn’t get enough, I went to every rodeo I could find that offered junior bareback riding. I went to two rodeos a weekend for nearly a year-and-a-half before I finally rode one out, but I just ate it up.” The love started being returned in the middle of his second year, when Trevor found his rhythm as he rode broncs. Last year, his dedication paid off big, and at 16, he was named the 2017 International Miniature Rodeo Association Super Senior Bareback Rider Champion, during the International Finals Rodeo.
What changed for Trevor, when he finally started to ride? He opened his eyes, literally. “That first year, I’d get on the ponies and close my eyes and hold my breath. I was trying so hard, but I couldn’t tell you what happened from the time I nodded until I hit the ground. Finally, I started opening my eyes, and I’d breathe, and I got a handful of them rode that year.” Between 13 and 14, things really started to change for him as he was riding. He felt more comfortable, and with more experience he knew what to expect when he stepped down over his broncs. “Things started clicking, and gears started rolling; I was calm, cool, and collected and could feel the little movements the horse was making and get in time with them. Little stuff like that goes a long way, I started to open up and grasp what was going on.” At the Ward Rodeo School Trevor attended, he credits Johnny Garside and Brad Gower for really getting him started and showing him so much. “They made it interesting, and they made it fun.”
Life before bareback riding was just as interesting for the now 17-year-old, high school junior. He grew up in a family of rodeo performers and stock contractors; and started on the back of a sheep as many rodeo kids do. However, his next step in rodeo was as a trick rider. Trevor’s mom, Windy, fulfilled her childhood dream of being a professional trick and roman rider, and spent over 27 years performing for rodeo crowds across the country. She was a contracted specialty act at the 2004 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and was happy to share her love of trick riding with her son. “I started when I was 9 and I would trick ride on little Welsh ponies, so they were short enough that I could touch the ground on my stunts.” Trevor’s dad, Stacy Lattin, worked for nearly 25 years as a bullfighter, fighting many bulls for the Longhorn Rodeo Company, where Trevor’s grandpa, Wendel Ratchford was the stock contractor. Wendel, a long-time International Professional Rodeo Association member, began producing his own rodeos in 2007, and Stacy then fought bulls at Wendel’s IPRA-sanctioned rodeos for several years. Trevor’s sister, Shelby, 22, rodeoed in high school and competed at the IFYR several years; and now lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Trevor attends high school through online classes and is part of a dual-enrollment program at Vo-Tech, participating in the welding program. He’d like to college rodeo once he graduates. He enjoys fishing and golfing, but most of his activities have to do with bareback riding. “If I’m not riding, I’m lifting weights to keep my riding arm in shape or working on my core.” One of his greatest influences has been former IFR qualifier, bareback rider Mike Duplissey, and they call each other weekly to review rides.
Trevor hopes to compete at the IMRA Finals Rodeo held in conjunction with the IFR again this year. “It was a great experience being in that coliseum with a full crowd. If you won the IMRA, they let you exhibition a bucking horse during the IFR show. To ride in front of so many cowboys that I look up to, and get to show-out a little, it was an amazing experience that the IMRA gave us.”