American Hat T Parker

by Charity Pulliam

“I went through probably six or seven straw hats before I partnered with American Hat,” T Parker said. “My aunt was bugging me about finding a good hat that would look good every time I got on a bull.”

“Now, I have a 100x Silver Belly American that I wear all the time,” he added. “I don’t wear anything but American hats now.”

Winnie, Texas cowboy T Parker took the rodeo world by storm by winning the 2023 Resistol Bull Riding Rookie of the Year Award and qualifying for his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo before the age of 20. 

Parker said he felt he took everyone by surprise during his rookie year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Unlike many young rodeo cowboys, he realized his dream later in life. 

“I watched the Houston rodeo every year since I was around 10 or 11 years old, and that was the only rodeo I wanted to ride in when I was growing up,” Parker said. “When I finally got to ride at Houston, I just ate it up. I loved every minute of it, and after that, I just wanted to keep on going.”

“At the start, my mom was kind of against it because, you know, I’m the baby; I am a big momma’s boy,” he said. “But then she saw how much I enjoyed it, and then she just fell right in on the bus.”

Parker said his permit year was not the smoothest ride. “I think I went to 36 rodeos on my permit and bucked off at all 36 of them, and then I finally rode my 37th to fill my permit, and I bought my card that night.”

He said that going into his first WNFR, he had an advantage because he felt that a lot of people in the ProRodeo world didn’t know his name yet.

The young cowboy finished his rookie year 13th in the world standings and won approximately $193,251 during the 2023 rodeo season. However, his 2024 ProRodeo season was recently cut short by a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum in his right arm.

“I had been fighting my shoulder injury since before the finals, and I just kept pushing it back because I didn’t want to hear what the doctors had to tell me,” Parker said. “But it finally got to the point that I couldn’t hold myself up on my bull rope.

“It is heartbreaking because I felt like this might be the year to win the world. But I’m going to get fixed up, head back out, and hopefully do better than the time before,” he added. “I’m hoping to come back in September for the end of the 2024 season.”

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