Roper Review: Travis Ericsson
Written by: Teri Edwards< Back to Articles
Hearing the word “cowboy” conjures up a variety of images for most of us. It’s doubtful many can envision Travis Ericsson’s lifestyle. Travis is a true cowboy. At Ericsson Equine he raises and trains some amazing horses, but that’s just part of what he does.
Travis Ericsson is a 5th generation cowboy, son of the legendary Mr. Dave Ericsson, 1966 IRA Champion Saddle Bronc Rider. At the young age of three, Travis was exposed to his first gathering with his dad who contracted with the state of Arizona to remove burros from the Grand Canyon.
Travis was featured in the Yeti Tumbler “Wild Cow Catcher” commercial giving a glimpse into his life and what most can only imagine. Catching wild cattle is a learned skill and not for the weak of heart.
Travis, a native of Arizona was born in Wikieup, graduated from Kingman High School and attended Central Arizona College. During his college days, Travis would work for the San Carlos Apache Reservation gathering wild cattle. Travis currently contracts throughout the state of Arizona, from gathering wild horses on reservations to wild cow/bull catching.
“There are over a million acres in Arizona unfenced. Cattle have everything they need to survive out there and become feral, like deer. At some point they will need to be caught. The process, while exciting, can be dangerous especially when catching wild bulls. Wild bulls learn to chase people because people have run from them. It’s unfathomable to most people. It’s like trying to catch buffalos with a rope.
In September we caught wild horses for the Apaches. My dad was great with anything wild. I can look at the situation and know where they’re going and how to catch them. Most people don’t have the experience to know what to expect or how to get this done.”
Travis credits his father with the knowledge and lifestyle he enjoys today. He considers himself blessed to do what he loves every day and will quickly tell you he’s the luckiest guy in the world.
“My father was an amazing cowboy. I grew up not enjoying it and taking it for granted. Now that I’m older I feel so lucky to have been born into this life. I am excited to get up every day and do what I do. My dad was a maker of cowboys and taught so many people our way of life. We always had ten or fifteen guys working for us and they’re all the best cowboys in Arizona. I hope to continue what he started.
He was also a phenomenal horseman who did not believe in a reject. He was a lover of horses and I’ve seen him whip many men for being mean to horses. He always tried to encourage a horse to do what he wanted.
He was strict but never mean to us kids and has always been my hero. He’s been on the cover of Western Horseman more times than anyone. Many of Bill Owens paintings are of my dad.”
Travis has spent his life devoted to his passion for ranch work, horses, and team roping. Today, when Travis isn’t qualifying at a World Series Roping or catching wild cows, you will find him riding and training colts.
“We have an own son of Peptoboonsmal, Merada Ima Pepto, and he’s the coolest horse I’ve ever owned. We are raising some exceptional colts from him that are nice minded and super athletic. I’m fortunate because in the Scottsdale area, there are some phenomenal cutter and reining trainers, like Kelby Phillips, NRCHA Greatest Horseman. Getting to spend time with them is very enjoyable. I love to be around excellence.”
Currently Travis and his partner, Lori, ride train and sell horses at their place in Scottsdale. For more information follow Ericsson Equine on Facebook or visit ericssonequine.com. A search on You Tube will yield videos that are well worth the watch.
How much do you practice?
We rope all day every day when we’re home.
Do you make your own horses?
Who have been your roping heroes?
Jake Barnes, he’s a neighbor and a friend. He’s always honest with me about my roping.
Who do you respect most in the world?
We all strive to be like Jesus, I respect Christ-like people. I respect Lorie, my significant other.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My father. Also Mike Kevil, who starts colts for a lot of trainers in my area, has had a significant influence on me.
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
Ride colts and rope. I do a lot of fishing on my colts.
What’s the last thing you read?
How To Win Friends And Influence People.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Optimistic, compassionate, adventurer.
What makes you happy?
Living the life we live.
What makes you angry?
The mistreatment of animals. When I see people jerk and whip on their horse I can’t handle it.
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
I would buy a place.
What is your best quality – your worst?
My best quality is forgiveness. My worst quality is my temper.