On The Trail with Timothy Troyer
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Timothy Troyer is the 2019 International Finals Youth Rodeo (IFYR) Saddle Bronc Champion and is also sitting number one in the International Pro Rodeo Association. From Columbia, Kentucky, Timothy admits there’s not a lot of saddle bronc riders around where he lives. Put that with his height, 6’2”, and the fact that he just started riding broncs two years ago, and that makes his win at the IFYR even sweeter. “I just started going to rodeos and figuring it out along the way,” he said. “I do base all my success on God and I couldn’t do it without Him. My brother Jesse has always been there to support me and push me to get better – he is definitely one of my biggest motivations!” Timothy spends many hours working out – preferring the old school workouts like jumping and cross fit work.
This was his second year at the IFYR. “It’s a great place for young people to get started and compete and it pays well.” Timothy was home schooled – he grew up Amish. “We weren’t allowed to go and even watch rodeos – no competitive sports. We played a lot of baseball or volleyball. But we couldn’t go to games.”
Timothy’s parents decided to leave the Amish community when he was 13. They moved to Westcliffe, Colorado, for four years before moving back to Columbia. “A month after we moved to Colorado we lost everything in a house fire and had to start over from scratch,” said Timothy. “But with help from God, family and friends we recovered.”
He doesn’t miss much about growing up in that lifestyle but says it helped him in life by teaching him life skills. “I know how to make a living from hard work,” he said. “We still talk Dutch at home and cook the same. I build furniture on the side, and that’s one thing that I will always do.” The one thing that stumped him was social media. Although he’s figured it out, he admits that it is over used.
While Timothy, Jesse, and his younger brother, Dwayne adapted well to the change, it has been more difficult for his mom, Kate. “I was taught so different that it’s hard. We didn’t learn English until we went to school at the age of six.” She also misses getting together with family and friends. She still raises a big garden and does all her own canning and freezing. They also raise their own meat, butchering a steer when the elk meat runs out. William is a big hunter and heads to Colorado every year to get an elk. The boys have gone with him.
Timothy has been riding for just over two years. “I always wanted to do it as a kid and my parents wouldn’t let me until I was 16.” He picked up rodeo on his own. “My brother started riding bareback horses when he was 16. I bought a saddle and a pair of chaps and started entering exhibitions at rodeos. I watched some YouTube videos and halfway had the basics figured out.” The hard part for Timothy was entering. “I didn’t know anything about associations; I just searched for rodeos to enter.”
Kate, wasn’t too happy about him riding right off, but she’s comfortable watching it now. “It was scary for me,” she said. “It was totally new for us. He was introduced to it through friends who barrel raced. The boys grew up on a farm – their dad used to train horses when he was younger – so they had always been around horses – we used them for everything.”
The other delay in Timothy’s starting was due to an accident he had in 2015. “He was at work and fell 22 feet off the roof, shattering both bones in his left leg above his ankle. It’s full of plates and screws– it took three surgeries to fix that. It took a full year until he was back to normal.” Timothy has worked on his father’s (William) construction crew since he was 13. He used to build houses and pole barns. William switched to excavating two years ago.
Timothy heads to school at South Western Oklahoma University this fall. “I am going to go for a business degree at Weatherford, Oklahoma, and rodeo.” He admits he’s a little nervous to start school. “I’ve never been to a public school – the Amish school I went to had 20 kids and was a 30×40 building.” He made it through the eighth grade in the Amish school. “That’s when you graduate anyway.”
He has continued his education online to prepare for college. “I’ll have classes every day of the week.” For now, rodeo will have to be done on the weekends. The goal is to have his own business someday – either in furniture or construction. For now, he’s going to enjoy college, rodeo, and his girlfriend, Sadie Wolaver, who he met at a rodeo in Canada. They have been dating since November. “I would marry her right now, but I don’t want to get married and have financial problems, so I’m saving up for it.”
“We’re proud of our boys and what they are accomplishing,” concludes Kate. “I love to watch him now. He’s got the determination and will power to push through and get after his goals. He doesn’t give up very easily. I would say he gets that from his dad.”