Cole Younger is a 5 Star Equine Products team member. The nine-year-old cowboy, a resident of Oskaloosa, Iowa, competes in the breakaway roping, tie-down roping, […]
Written by: Lily Weinacht< Back to Articles
Cole Edge of Durant, Oklahoma, is sitting second in the PRCA standings in steer wrestling, an event he originally took up in high school for the all-around points. The 33-year-old cowboy comes from a family of ropers and focused primarily on team roping and tie-down roping through high school, but he found his niche in steer wrestling. “I’m just steer wrestling now. I can rope when I retire,” he jokes. “I went down to Southeastern Oklahoma State in Durant for school where Sarah Burkes was the coach. Her husband, Jake, talked me into keeping up steer wrestling and it just took off from there. I like the physicality of it, and you have your hazer, but it’s more of an individual sport—everything depends on you. I like the competition and making good runs, and when you get to the big rodeos, I like the pressure in those situations.”
Cole finished third in the CNFR world steer wrestling standings in 2007, and the pressure at Rodeo Austin in March this year spurred him on to a first-place win. He was also invited to the Calgary Stampede for the first time this summer. Cole is traveling with Cameron Morman, Chason Floyd, and Tanner Brunner this season, and the four steer wrestlers are competing on the same three horses this season, all by Pride Farms’ stallion Lions Share of Fame. “We’re all in the top 20 right now, and I think that says a lot for those horses,” says Cole. “We ride all the same saddles and just adjust the stirrups. I’m primarily riding a horse of Sean Mulligan’s, Miss Kitty, and another mare named Holly, and our gelding Slick is our haze horse. Miss Kitty was pretty young when I qualified for The American on her in 2014, but this year and last year I’ve been riding her every day.
“The great thing about steer wrestling is that it’s kind of a big family. Everybody helps each other out,” Cole adds. “Sean Mulligan has helped me my whole career, and Jacob Burkes made sure I kept going with it. I’m pretty fortunate to be around people like that all the time.” Sean also hazes for Cole throughout the season. “You’re pretty much putting your life in your hazer’s hands. It’s a very crucial job. I started rodeoing with Sean and he’s one of the best in the business. Cameron hazes outstanding, and Chason hazed for me at the short round in Reno, and I haze for everybody else. We can’t win what we do without a good hazer.”
Another crucial component in Cole’s steer wrestling career is his tack, including the 5 Star saddle pads and cinches that he uses. He’s been using their products the last 10 years and joined the 5 Star Champion team in 2014, the first year he qualified for the WNFR. “I like things basic, and their pads are 100 percent natural. The wool absorbs the impact just as well, and I like the 100 percent wool cinches they have. They work for me, and they are a great company with great people.” Cole also appreciates the variety of sizes 5 Star pads are offered in, and has a tack room full of them to prove it. “I can have one saddle and switch it to different horses and make it fit that much better. My wife is a barrel racer, and she has a whole bunch of their pads too.”
Cole and his wife, Torrie, met at Southeastern Oklahoma State University where they were both on the rodeo team, and they were married in 2012. Torrie runs barrels on the WPRA Prairie Circuit, though she’s taking the season off since she and Cole are expecting the birth of their twins in November. The husband and wife also enjoy raising and training horses together, and taking them to barrel futurities. “If not barrels, then we try to rope on them and just turn them into good horses,” says Cole, who also likes welding.
“Winning Austin was probably my biggest highlight, and my horses are working good. I get my confidence from what I’m riding—if they keep working good, I’m pretty proud of them. My goal is pretty much to win as much as I can and save up for those babies. I want to keep placing at the rodeos and everything will take care of itself after that.”