There are a lot of gold in the Goodman family. As in gold buckles. Stan, Jessica, and their son Wyatt, who are all Arkansas Cowboys […]
Roper Review: Tanner Ward
Written by: Teri Edwards< Back to Articles
Having just celebrated his 21st birthday, Tanner Ward has overcome some large obstacles in his young life. At just three years old, Tanner was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Fortunately, his babysitter, also a diabetic, recognized his unusual thirst as a symptom. To this day it’s necessary to test his blood often and he can sometimes receive up to seven shots each day.
However, the disease has done little to slow him down. He entered his first Mutton Busting at just three years old and won. From there he progressed to riding calves, steers, and junior bulls. However, he soon found his true passion in roping.
Tanner’s family has always been involved in livestock and rodeo. His grandfather, Wayne Meeks, owned several livestock auctions in southeast Oklahoma and Arkansas. His dad, Wayne Ward, competed as a calf roper up until Tanner started Junior Rodeo.
Tanner began riding outside horses when he was just nine. His mother, Cissy, said he was always big for his age and people just didn’t realize how young he was. At fifteen he was training a mule that bucked him off. For several days he complained about his neck being sore and finally went to the doctor. The diagnosis was a broken neck that required surgery. Tanner had to wear a neck brace for six months and was not supposed to ride. That year he entered the IFYR in Shawnee, OK, wearing his neck brace.
After completing the 8th grade, Tanner asked his parents if he could home school during high school to have more time to work at his roping. Though reluctant, his parents agreed and that year Tanner won over $50,000 roping in addition to income from training horses. He went on to complete his high school education at home.
Cissy Ward describes Tanner’s passion for roping, “I’ve never had to make him practice, only to stop practicing. He’s going to rope regardless. It doesn’t matter if it’s storming, 110 degrees, or roping by the headlights of a truck.”
Now, a #9 heeler, Tanner trains a lot of horses and competes at jackpots and rodeos. He also enjoys helping younger kids with their roping.
“I have a good partner for next year and plan to go to some of the winter pro rodeos,” says Tanner. “Hopefully we’ll have some luck.”
How much do you practice?
Do you make your own horses?
Who were your roping heroes?
Who do you respect most in the world?
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Rough, tough, easy-going.
What makes you happy?
What makes you angry?
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
Build an indoor arena and a facility to help kids.
What is your worst quality – your best?
My worst is I’m too hard on myself. My best quality is perseverance.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Having been to the NFR and being a World Champion.