On The Trail with Tyler Waltz
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Born and raised in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, Tyler Waltz was the oddball through high school, focusing on rodeo instead of other sports. “I grew up with Jeff Askey and he and I had rodeo in common.” Tyler worked every event in high school, trying to make his childhood dream of winning the world in the IPRA come true. Several injuries would have shattered that dream for most, but not Tyler. He’s leading the bareback riding in the IPRA by more than $10,000; and he’s more determined than ever to make his childhood dream come true. “It’s in my blood,” said the 28 year old. “My dad (Dave) and uncle (Steve) both rodeo, and I love to do it.”
His list of injuries started his junior year in high school, when he broke his right femur at the National High School Finals in Farmington, New Mexico. He recovered from that and made it back to the high school finals again the next year. At a pro rodeo he attended before the Finals, he got hooked by a bull.. “It bent the rod in my femur; it was a bad deal. I really thought they were going to amputate my leg. We went to four different hospitals to find someone that could get the rod out.” He was headed to the University of Tennessee in Martin and the college rodeo red shirted him until he was better. “My dad went to school there and was on the rodeo team; my best friend Jeff Askey was going to school there, so I figured that was the place to be. The coach (John Luthi 731-514-4630) is really good too.” He made the college finals his freshman year in bareback and steer wrestling. “I missed my sophomore year for knee surgery, but went my junior and senior year.” He graduated with an Ag business degree and plans to be a rodeo coach. “I’d like to rodeo first, and when I slow down, I’d like to coach.”
Tyler has focused on bareback riding, but has added steer wrestling to his events. He also team ropes and hopes to make a run for the IPRA All Around next year. He stays in shape by doing T25 on his phone at least a couple times a week. He also made the decision to stick closer to home to rodeo, something that has helped him stay healthy. “I think when I was starting, I just went too hard, and that led to some of my injuries,” he said. Tyler travels with his girlfriend, Bri Dubar, the 2017 IPRA Breakaway Champion. “She’s honestly done all the entering, she’s done it all,” he said. “I don’t like the road part of it. I like when you get there, and hanging out with your friends.”
His dad knows all about overcoming rodeo injuries. “Its part of rodeo,” said Dave, who owns a fuel and coal business and farms on the side. “I was injury plagued when I rodeoed too – he’s mentally tough and that’s what he wants to do.” Dave and Tyler raise bucking bulls, hauling to 25 rodeos a year around the northeast. Tyler works for his dad in the winter, both in the fuel business and the bucking bulls. “My success is because of my dad – he’s always been there and taught me everything I know about rodeo. He gave me every opportunity he could get me to succeed.”
His mom, Cindy, rode English and Western Pleasure and her parents produced a rodeo at Jersey Shore, which is how they met. “My parents put a rodeo on a few times a year,” said Cindy. “It was an open rodeo and lots of people came out.” Cindy knows rodeo is her son’s true passion. “He has a strong will and a good faith and I’m hoping this is his time. I’m very proud of him for going after his dream.” He has two older sisters – Lauren and Courtney –33, and 30; Lauren still runs barrels.
Tyler and Bri will both be competing at IFR 49. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to win the world in the IRA It’s been a really good year – I’ve worked really hard to have a year like this.” Tyler wants to be remembered as a good person – an all around good cowboy.