Meet the Rodeo Company Rockin’ K Rodeo
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 […]
story by Lily Weinacht
Coming from a family that raised bucking bulls in Virginia, and sporting his first pair of chaps when he was two, it is a matter of course that Winston Quesenberry became a bull rider. He thrived on his father’s and uncles’ bull riding stories as much as his mom’s cooking. Watching Challenge of the Champions about Lane Frost further encouraged Winston, and he steadily worked his way through calf and steer riding to the ultimate goal of bulls. “When I was a kid, I simply loved riding bulls,” says 24-year-old Winston. “There was no worry about paying bills, it was just a pure love for the event. In the last few years it’s become more of a job that I rely on for money, but it’s also the feeling of riding an animal ten times your weight. I crave that feeling!”
Winston’s skill in riding bulls is the fruit of countless hours spent with his dad, Jeffrey Quesenberry, and his uncles, David and Daniel Gaither. They put on bull ridings at their arena up until Winston finished high school, but continue to be his role models several years later. “I’ve spent a lot of time with my Uncle David talking about rodeo and bull riding, and he gives me a lot of wisdom. I’ve rodeoed all over the country and met a lot of people who have knowledge about rodeo, but I’ve never met anyone who gets through to me as good as he does!”
Winston further prepares by going to his rodeos mentally strong. “I pray about it, and more than anything, I want to be clear headed,” he says. “Bull riding, like any rodeo event, is all mental. I stay myself and have a good time, and I take all the change out of my pockets when I get to a rodeo,” he adds with a laugh. “A friend of mine told me that if you show up with change, you leave with change.”
Winston now makes his home in Muskogee, Okla., after going to school at Connors State College in Warner, Okla. He started out at Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, Okla., on a full ride scholarship for riding bulls, but later switched to Connors State College, graduating with an associates in general studies, and qualifying in the bull riding for the CNFR in 2012. He purchased his IPRA card four years ago, urged by his friend, DV Fennell, to rodeo with the association. “I look up to him a lot, too, and he’s given me a lot of wisdom.” Winston adds, “I’m sponsored by Eric Norris, a State Farm agent. He’s done a lot for me too.”
With rodeo as his fulltime job, Winston uses his spare time to work out at the gym, play golf, and go hunting or fishing, depending on the time of year. Most of his time, however, is spent with family and his fiancé, Kameron Gautreaux, who is a barrel racer.
While competing in the SEBRA and PBR, Winston has devoted the bulk of his time to the IPRA, and since recovering from injuring his hand at IFR 45, he has returned to the rodeo circuit with renewed vigor. His greatest goal for 2015 is to win IFR 46, while competing in at least 25 IPRA rodeos this year. Last year, he went to only ten rodeos and won nine of them. “I’ve also talked about buying horses and turning them into kid broke horses, but I would rather have rodeo become a bigger part of my life than it even is now! I’d like to retire someday and accomplish that just from riding bulls. All I’ve ever wanted to do is rodeo.”
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