When it comes to rodeo moms, Rickki Moyer ranks top notch. Splitting her time between her own competition and that of her two kids (Mattox, […]
Written by: Lily Landreth< Back to Articles
Waylon Davis has been team roping competitively for only a year, but in 2013 he roped himself a chance to compete in the World Series of Team Roping Finale. The 24-year-old cowboy came home from the famous event with $130,600. For Waylon, the journey to the WSTR took hard work and smart thinking. “You’ve got to do your homework, work hard, and practice a lot,” he says. “A lot of people have helped me along the way.”
Waylon grew up in Breckinridge, Texas with a rope in hand, but he didn’t become involved in rodeo until he was 12. “My older brother (Reece Clark) took me around with him when I was 12 and let me cowboy with him. I started riding horses and broncs and roping and shoeing.” When he was 16, Waylon started competing in ranch rodeos and ranch bronc ridings, as his serious pursuit of roping was yet to come.
After graduating from high school, Waylon went to Ranger Junior College with a rodeo scholarship and competed on the school’s rodeo team in saddle bronc riding. Funding his schooling required working several jobs, and after a semester and a half of such a demanding schedule, Waylon decided to quit school. He began working day jobs at ranches, riding colts, and shoeing horses. “I cowboyed mainly until everyone shipped their cattle out during the drought. Then I got a chance to go to TCU (Texas Christian University) for the ranch management program. I graduated and that’s how I go to Weatherford (Texas).”
Following his graduation from TCU, Waylon found a place to live in Weatherford where he met Slick Robison. Robison trains roping horses, and ended up being the person to help Waylon with his big start in team roping. “I was roping and riding with him every day,” says Waylon. “We’d go to jackpots around home. I started out a #4 header and heeler. I got my card and the first one (WSTR team roping) I went to I won $5,000. Then we went to Stephenville (Texas) with the same #4 card. I roped with A.P. Jones and we won $3,200 in that one. After that they finally bumped me to a 5 elite. I went to Graham and entered the #12 finale and won that and split $35,000 with my partner, Clint Johnson.”
During this whirlwind of team roping, Waylon and a group of cowboys he knew from ranching were competing in ranch rodeos. At the Western Heritage Classic in Abilene, Texas, Waylon won Top Hand, earning him a bit and a hand tooled saddle. Not long after that, he won Top Hand at the All-Around Performance Horse Ranch Rodeo Challenge in Glenrose, Texas and came home with another saddle. At that same ranch rodeo in Glenrose, Waylon and his teammates Nathan Carter, Cody Carter, Slick Robison, and Reid McGee won the entire rodeo. Over roughly 30 days during the spring, Waylon won nearly $30,000 dollars from team roping. He is the owner of eight new saddles and more belt buckles than he can recall. Team roping has turned into his fulltime job.
After Waylon qualified for the WSTR Finale, his main team roping horse, a six-year-old bay called Day Trash was kicked in the knee in early November. X-rays showed that it was a bone chip. Day Trash was still able to compete in Las Vegas, where he helped Waylon win the big money in the #10 roping. Waylon had been practicing with the brother-sister duo Shawn and Danielle Darnall while preparing for the WSTR in Las Vegas. Among the roping horses that Waylon drove to Las Vegas was Funny Face, a head horse that he borrowed from Danielle Darnall and her boss, Jeff Busby.. Waylon set off to Vegas with the Darnells, splitting the 20 hour trip into two days.
Waylon’s roping partners for the WSTR were John C. Brian, Clint Johnson, Troy Brown, Bud Lowrey, and Chase Harris. Waylon competed in five ropings altogether, but ropings #10 and #13 are where he and his partners had successful runs. Waylon was heeling for John C. Brian in the #10 when they won $250,000, cutting a $125,000 check for each cowboy. He topped off his winnings with the $5,600 that he won heading with Clint Johnson in the #13. “It turned out really good for all three of us,” says Waylon. His girlfriend, Hannah Flowers, flew in to surprise him in Las Vegas, arriving just after he won the #10. When it was all over after 11 exciting yet long days away from home, Waylon was ready to put his truck into gear and head home.
In one year, Waylon’s team roping has earned him nearly $180,000. He is greatly encouraged by his success in 2013, and in conclusion, he said, “I’m just going to keep team roping and try to qualify again (for the WSTR Finale) next year. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and try to be more successful.”