Meet the Member Colby Houlton
story by Lindsay Humphrey In Kiowa, Kansas, just about everything is as deeply rooted in family as it gets. That’s especially true for Colby Houlton […]
story by Siri Stevens
What does a bull rider do to help out a friend in need? Put on a rodeo!
“I’m doing this for a brother firefighter of mine, Dusty Selby,” explains bull rider Ryan Harris. “A month and a half back, Dusty’s son, Austin, was involved in a very bad car accident. He and some friends were out driving around and rolled the vehicle two to three times. Two of the passengers were ejected – they were treated and released. The other passenger was wearing his seat belt. 17-year-old Austin was the driver and he suffered severe head injuries.”
Austin’s treatment required him to remain in Oklahoma City and the family rented a house in Edmond so they could be close by. Five days after the house was rented, Rene passed away unexpectedly.
“Through the Fargo Fire Department, we decided to step out there and lend a hand,” said Ryan. “I ride bulls, and that’s what I know to do, so I decided to put together a benefit rodeo to raise money for whatever he needs to put it towards.” Ryan has been riding bulls since he was 14, but this is his first experience putting a rodeo together. “I felt it was my part to do something for him and I’m happy to do it.” Due to Austin’s therapy and recovery, Dusty cannot work fulltime, and he is trying to find a part time job in the city. His other three children are helping where they can. They are: William Johnson, who lives in Enid with his wife, Melissa, and their son Corbin; Jacob, who lives in Elreno; and Brandon, who is married to Elisabeth and the couple lives in Woodward.
Ryan has been working on the rodeo since March. “It’s the first one I’ve ever done – and for me to start in March and get it done and ready by June 17 has been a challenge. I’ve got my fiancé (Ellen Long) helping me, and Justin Dowdy and another couple buddies are helping me get this together.” So far, they have raised close to $16,000 that will go to the family. “We will use part of it to put on the rodeo, but the rest of the gate money, concession stand, and all the money made there that night will be paid to him.”
The Selby Benefit Rodeo was named in honor of the family. “Dusty’s aunt and uncle own a feed store around here, Gage Cattle and Feed, so I am using that name since everyone will know who it’s for.” Ryan is amazed at how everyone has donated and helped to make the rodeo happen. “Without them and the kindness of people donating their hard earned money and time, this would not have happened.”
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