For two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Trent Walls, competing at a rodeo these days seems like a vacation.
The soon-to-be 31-year-old tie-down roper from Stephenville, Texas, has taken over the family's longtime stock contracting business from his father, Terry, who is battling a brain tumor.
The Terry Walls Rodeo Company puts on 10 PRCA rodeos a year, and about a dozen or more amateur and college rodeos. It leases stock to major events such as RodeoHouston and the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo.
"It is a lot easier competing at one of these [rodeos] than putting them on," said Walls while in Cleburne (Texas). "But when you are involved in it and you have really good help, it's not overly tough. It's a lot of fun and a guaranteed paycheck. I really enjoy it. I never thought as a kid, being around it so much, that I would ever come back around and work the stock contracting end of it. But things have a way of working out and now I'm half owner in the company."
Walls and his mother, Delia, with four full-time employees, run the show. They have 60 head of bucking horses, 40 bulls, and a few dozen breeding mares and young bulls to round out the operation.
In addition, Walls has a preconditioning cattle business with about 30,000 head of yearlings a year.
The fact Walls has come full circle in the stock contracting business is a bit ironic considering how much he "hated" it as a young teenager.
"I got burned out around age 13 because we would be at rodeos all the time," said Walls, who's married to former Wrangler NFR barrel racer Cheyenne Wimberly. "My parents really worked hard at it and put on a rodeo pretty much every weekend. I don't think I would like to do that, but would like to go after the really good rodeos in Texas, like Huntsville and Belton, and then help out at the bigger rodeos like Houston and San Antonio.
"I have really gotten interested in the roughstock end. To see those guys get on your horses and make them look good is always fun. That's a lot more exciting than I thought it was going to be."
Walls said as a stock contractor, he's learned to appreciate the efforts of the volunteer rodeo committees and the townspeople who devote countless hours and resources each year to make their rodeo better.
"The other thing I like as a stock contractor is that you get to be there all week and form relationships with all of those people, which is something you don't get to do when you are a contestant because you are in and out," he said.
Despite his new focus, Walls has managed to remain competitive in the arena. He has won $11,213 and sits 30th in the Jack Daniel's World Standings while competing on an abbreviated schedule.
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