story by Jennie Lawrence Bouton, Iowa cowgirl Payton Gafford was in the third grade when she decided to take up bull riding. Her mom ran […]
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Meet the Member Ty Parkinson
story by Michele Toberer
All-around cowboys from around the world cannot deny the incredible amount of respect there is for a cowboy that earns the title from both ends of the arena. It has become far less common for a cowboy to earn the title on both the roughstock and timed event sides, but Ty Parkinson not only just accomplished that feat, he became a world champion while doing it. The 28-year-old cowboy from Australia recently left Guthrie, Oklahoma’s IFR50 event as the 2019 IPRA World Champion Heeler, 3rd place in the world bull rider as well as IFR bull riding average winner, and 2019 IPRA World Champion All-Around Cowboy. Although there is an all-around cowboy crowned each year, Ty is the first cowboy since 1998 to win the all-around title working both ends of the arena.
For Ty, all-around cowboys were examples set before him from the time he set foot in an arena and achieving this title puts him just a step closer to his aspirations of being every bit the cowboy his dad, Steve Parkinson has always been. “My dad has done all the events. He’s won 5 Australian bull riding titles and so many all-around titles. He is the only man in Australia to make the Australian NFR in every event. He qualified one year in calf roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddlebronc riding, bareback riding, and bull riding.” Ty’s mom Dianne is quite the cowgirl herself, and Ty grew up in Musswellbrook, a town in the Upper Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia where there were often 50 or 60 eager cowboys and cowgirls attending rodeo camps put on by his parents as they taught skills in every rodeo event. “I’ve competed in all the events, but I’m mainly focusing on the ones that keep me going down the road right now.”
Ty came to America to compete for the first time as an 18-year-old, roping at the World Series Roping in Las Vegas, Nevada. After several trips back and forth, he’s been here consistently since he was 23, (2015) rodeoing on a sports visa. Ty’s rookie year with the IPRA was in 2015, and he has qualified for the IFR every year he’s competed in the association. In 2015 he was the IPRA’s rookie bull rider, heeler, and rookie all-around cowboy. During his years at the IFR he’s won many rounds and averages in calf roping, team roping, and bull riding, and has been the reserve champion all-around cowboy for 4 years in a row. Ty was also awarded the Jack Wiseman Memorial award 4 times, for being the IPRA season’s highest money earner working both ends of the arena. During his illustrious IPRA career he’s won a lot and is especially proud of earning a Canadian heeling championship, and team roping and calf roping titles at St. Tite.
Memorable is an understatement for what IFR50 was to Ty this year. He was grateful to be there heeling for partner Colton Bugis, and although they didn’t have the finals they hoped for, they had cemented such a commanding lead coming into the finals that winning was imminent. “I really appreciate Colton heading steers for me all season and giving me a chance to become a world champion.” He was also glad to have won the first round of bull riding with an 87.5-point ride on aOubre Rodeo Company’s bull, Tearjerker. “It was really exciting to have my mom at the IFR to watch this year. I hadn’t seen her in two years and having her there to support me was pretty awesome!”
Ty appreciates his family support and takes lessons from his dad to his all-around competition. “My dad taught me that you have to take one event at a time. Even if you have a bad run in one event, you have to put it aside and go on to the next. You have to keep on moving. He also appreciates Glenn Jackson and Julie Williamson for always helping him stay positive and reminding him that a great attitude leads to success. Everyone dreams of being a world champion one day, and I’m so grateful to have accomplished it.”