story by Michele Toberer Dale Davies has been blessed to live a life centered around horses and rodeo. Growing up in Fort Collins, Colorado as […]
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Meet the Member Wyatt Austin
story by Lily Weinacht
Wyatt Austin from Queen Creek, Arizona, entered the rodeo world by way of the roping box but found his home in the roughstock chutes. The 18-year-old bull rider is the second generation of his family to rodeo, following after his dad, who competed in all three roughstock events. Wyatt entered his first junior rodeo in the breakaway roping when he was 9 and rode his first steer three years later. While the football field beckoned to him for several seasons, he returned to rodeo in eighth grade and started riding bulls. “I was just raised into rodeo. It’s the adrenaline rush and the competition. You’re riding a bull and anything and everything could happen—I just love that feeling,” says Wyatt. “I’m motivated to better myself, and the support from my family helps out a lot. My mom and dad take me everywhere, and my grandma Barbara Anderson and my brothers all support me 100 percent.”
The youngest of five brothers, Wyatt is the rodeo athlete of the family now, though his dad, Dax Austin, has competed in World Series team ropings over the years. Dax and Wyatt’s mom, Tracy Austin, now travel with him to all of his rodeos, including going to watch the NHSFR, which Wyatt qualified for in June. He was sitting second in the AHSRA standings, just three points behind first place, but after riding his bull in the first round, he had a rough dismount and broke his leg. “They put a rod down my tibia,” says Wyatt, who anticipates riding again in late August. In the meantime, he’s working out, swimming, and running his stall cleaning business. “I clean quite a few stalls where I live—I’ve been doing that for probably four years and it’s worked out pretty good.”
In between jobs, Wyatt spends much of his time working out at the gym, especially lifting weights. “I try to push myself, and I listen to motivational speeches. I like Inky Johnson, and I listen to a lot of pastors. That’s what motivates me in the gym.” Wyatt also enjoys working with his colt, Chico, whom he purchased last year from a friend. “I’m planning to rope off of him, and he’s working out pretty good. He’s just two-and-a-half.” He also helps care for the family’s dogs, chickens, and pig, and enjoys living on the outskirts of Queen Creek where they have land for their animals.
Since graduating from Queen Creek High School this spring, Wyatt plans on competing in the PBR and PRCA once his leg is healed. This is also his third season competing in the GCPRA, and he’s working on a third qualification to the GCPRA finals. “They have good stock, and they’re rodeos are always run really good. I’d say Tucson is a favorite—I won that one year, so I look forward to that one.” He also won the GCPRA rodeos in Globe, Verde Valley, and Willcox, Arizona, last year and finished second in the year-end standings, while he won Needles, California, this year. His travels have even taken him to Shawnee, Oklahoma, for the IFYR in 2017, and the 2017 Battle of the States bull riding held in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, which he won. “I’m planning to start going to pro rodeos and work my way up. I’d like to make it to the Turquoise Circuit Finals—that’s one of my first goals—and of course my main goal is making it to the NFR.”