Sean Wernsman has been competing in the saddle bronc riding for approximately 10 years and is a six-time finals qualifier in the Colorado Pro Rodeo […]
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
For the last two years, Pete Walnofer has been a member of the Mid-States Rodeo Association. Besides Mid-States, he’s working on filling his PRCA card and competes in college rodeo. He likes the Mid-States Association for the location of the rodeos. “I live in Northeast Nebraska and I can get to a rodeo just about every weekend in the summer. Last summer I went to about 10 of the Mid-States rodeos. That’s what is perfect about Mid-States, the rodeos are on weekends and you don’t have to be gone during the week. You can get your work done and rodeo on the weekend.”
In college, he competes in both the steer wrestling and the team roping. He says that his college rodeo coach, David Browder has given him an adage that Pete likes to keep in front of him, it says, “Practice like you have never won, and compete like you have never lost.” Pete explains, “To me that is something that I can use in rodeo as well as in day-to-day life.” He attends Laramie Community College in Cheyenne where he studies ag production technology. After college, he plans to go back to his family’s ranch and work there. “We’ve got a cow-calf operation and I’ll probably make that my career.”
Pete got his start in rodeo with the help of his friend, Kyle Whitaker. “We’re from the same town and one day he asked if I wanted to go with him to watch him bulldog. He just started teaching me how to do it and I went on from there.” Kyle became Pete’s mentor and inspiration in rodeo and in his personal life. Pete talks about Kyle, “He’s been a really good role model for me. I’ve tried to keep up with him and he has been a great help to all through this. I’m not really all that big, but Kyle has taught me that the technique is a huge part of steer wrestling. That’s 90% of it, is having the right technique and form.” Pete keeps himself in shape with workouts and spends time doing some chute doggin’ to keep himself sharp. “You have to stay in shape for any event in rodeo, and I’ll do sit-ups and push-ups to keep my upper body strength.”
Preparation for competition begins in the practice pen for Pete. “A big part of it is getting things right in practice. Then at the rodeo, it should just be second nature. Of course, you really need to have your mind on it and focus. But it all starts with practice. If a guy can make consistent runs time after time, then you’ll be placing. Especially in college rodeo, that’s important.”
Pete, 20, lives in his home town of Chambers, Neb. with his family. His parents are Alvin and Brenda. Pete is the middle sibling and has three brothers and one sister. During the week, Pete is a full time student and does various day work for ranchers around Cheyenne. Leisure time when it can be found, is spent hunting or fishing. Goals for the future are to build a career in ranching and to continue to rodeo.