story by Siri Stevens Tony Keeton started his company, Rockin’ K Rodeo in 2017. It’s not his only full time job. Tony has worked for […]
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Meet the Member: Ty Parkinson
By Lindsay Whelchel
It’s perhaps safe to say, Ty Parkinson, 23, is the epitome of International in the International Professional Rodeo Association. The Australian cowboy is taking the association by storm in more than one event.
Ty is from New South Wales and grew up wanting to be just like his dad, a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to rodeo.
“I’ve grown up idolizing my dad. He’s been one of the best back home, and he’s taught me pretty good, so I just feel proud to be over here,” Ty says.
His community is a prime rodeo location back home, in close proximity to many rodeos. His mom Dianne barrel raced, and Ty’s dad Steve has championships in bull riding, team roping, calf roping, bareback and saddle bronc riding, so naturally Ty would show promise in many events himself.
“My goal is to be like him one day and do every event,” Ty says.
Another big goal of Ty’s is to win a world championship, and with a close race between him and Dusty McMullen and Garrett Tribble in the bull riding, Ty is closing in on that goal. All of that is in light of his late start in the IPRA season when he came from “down under” this summer and burst onto the North American rodeo scene.
“I’m doing pretty good for myself, so hopefully [I can] keep it up and bring me home a world championship. That’s been my goal since I was about 6 years old, and I’m not quitting until it happens,” he says.
He’s seen success already in Australian Pro Rodeo and while team roping and riding bulls over the last couple of years in the states, but this is his rookie season in the IPRA.
“There’s a lot of tough cowboys, a lot of good bull riders, ropers, and I’ve really [had] to step my game up, so I’m trying to match them and see how we end up at the end of the year,” Ty says of his fellow IPRA competitors. Despite the competitive nature of the sport, he’s made a lot of friends while away from home. He even stays with IPRA star, Cody Mousseau’s family in Canada when he’s not traveling.
“His parents Jennifer and Barry have accepted me like one of theirs, and it’s just an amazing feeling that I can be there, and they look after me like I’m one of theirs. I appreciate so much what they do for me,” Ty says.
Support rings loud from back home as well. Ty credits his family, which includes brother Blayne and sister Candace for being in his corner while he’s pursuing rodeo success.
Even with all of his wins and the hectic nature of competing in so many events, it’s still ultimately about having fun for Ty. He doesn’t seem at all fazed by juggling roping calves and riding bulls, as well as steer wrestling.
“I enjoy doing as many events as I can. If I can win doing it that’s even better, but I just like having fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re not winning.”
The lifestyle is rewarding no matter the outcome for Ty.
“It’s showing up, getting to the rodeo and seeing everybody there. It’s rodeo time. Win or lose, you give it everything you’ve got. It’s the best thing. In the truck to go home you can smile about it if you had a bad weekend, because there’s one next weekend, and you can go redeem yourself,” he says smiling.
When he’s not in an arena, you’ll find Ty sitting quietly by the water, fishing and visualizing his next run or ride.
“I think it helps me be a better cowboy and better competitor, so fishing is the best way to do it. You relax. Sit by the water. That’s my favorite thing to do,” he says.
It looks like it’s working for him.