Coco van den Bergh saw her first pair of Wrangler jeans and a Western saddle when she came to the United States as a college […]
On The Trail With Clayton Biglow
Written by: Siri Stevens< Back to Articles
Clayton Biglow is on a quest …Resistol Rookie of the Year … “I always knew that I wanted Rookie of the Year,” said the 21-year-old bareback rider from Clements, California. By the time Clayton graduated from high school in 2014, he had won the International Youth Finals Rodeo twice in the bareback riding; National High School Finals once, and was Reserve All Around once. He went to Feather River College last year, and finished second at the College National Finals Rodeo, behind Wyatt Denny, his traveling partner. He joined the PRCA last year, and won the PRCA Permit Holder of the Year Challenge in Las Vegas.
Clayton is going to school for Ag Business and plans to return to the family ranch when he’s done rodeoing. “We have horses and a property management company, so the degree will be helpful.” Clayton started competing when he was six in the calf riding in the Northern California Junior Rodeo Association. “I always wanted to – my dad (Russ) did it, making the top twenty a few times.” Russ rode bareback horses, starting in 1985. Due to his size, he didn’t get on his first one until he was 20, in the meantime, he was a team roper. His mom, Jessie, came from a hunter/jumper and polo playing family, and continued breeding, training, and showing while Clayton was growing up. He helped her exercise 15 horses a day and start colts. His older sister, Taylor, amateur rodeos and his younger sister, Maddie jumps and does junior rodeo.
When Clayton got older, he competed in junior bulls – from 12-15 years old. His dad wouldn’t let Clayton ride senior bulls or start riding bareback horses until he thought he was big enough. He started riding the last two rodeos of his sophomore year, qualifying for National High School Finals in that and the cutting, finishing as the Reserve Champion All Around Cowboy. He rode bulls at two rodeos once he was a senior, but decided to stick to the bareback riding. “I’ve gotten on a few saddle broncs, but I never craved it like I did bareback riding.” He learned how to ride from his dad and a neighbor, John Holman, a 3x WNFR saddle bronc qualifier. Clayton switched from public school to home schooling when he was a sophomore. “I was working quite a bit doing day work and riding colts for my mom, and that gave me more time to rodeo,” he said.
He also played football, basketball, and played baseball. After his freshman year, he quit sports to focus on rodeo. “If it wasn’t for rodeo, I’d be playing baseball – I loved it.” He played short stop and pitcher. He also plays golf, and fills his days on the road with golf whenever he can. He started playing when he was little, playing with, and beating, his dad. He also works out on the road. “Wyatt and I do a lot of CrossFit, so we find a gym whenever we can.” Bareback riding uses every muscle in his body, and CrossFit helps keep his core strong. He and Wyatt and their other traveling partner, Kenny Hayworth just picked up new arm braces from Lethbridge Orthotic in Alberta. “We’ve rode with them on since the 4th – – it took me awhile to figure it out – it was a little bulky and a little different than riding without one. But my arms not sore – last year by now, after 60 or so rodeos, my arm and elbow were sure sore. I’ve never rode with a brace, but I’ve tried a bunch on, and the first time I put this one on, it felt great.”
Clayton is a team roper too, hauling horses with him whenever he can. He’s concentrating this year on winning Resistol Rookie as well get a spot in the National Finals Rodeo. The #5 header and #6 Elite heeler plans to add team roping to his entry fees next year, with the goal of trying for All Around.
So far this has been a great year for Clayton – he won Reno, and is currently sitting eleventh. He’s got four days off in the middle of July, and will head home. “I feel great, it will be nice to get home for a few days. We live right by a lake, so I’ll go to the lake and rope with my dad. We are doubled up in Salinas and Ogden, so we’ll see how we draw. I’ve been having a good time, I’ve got great traveling partners and it’s exactly how I wanted it to go down for sure.” Clayton will switch schools this fall and take online classes through Western Nevada College, joining his traveling partners, Wyatt and Kenny under the coaching of Jesse Segura, who will be starting a rodeo program at the school.