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Meet the Member Preston Barnett
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Preston Barnett is letting his shoulder and lower back muscles heal up, and then he’s back to rodeo.
The 23 year old cowboy has ridden bareback horses as a member of the Rocky Mountain Pro Rodeo Association for the past six years.
He grew up riding sheep, calves, and steers, following in his dad’s footsteps, a former bull rider. Then junior high sports stole him away for a while, till a couple of friends encouraged him to rodeo. His parents really didn’t want him riding bulls, so he tried bareback horses.
The first trip wasn’t so good. He got bucked off, and broke his wrist. But he didn’t quit trying.
He competed throughout four years of high school, making it to the Utah High School Finals Rodeo three times.
After high school graduation in 2011, he took a job in Texas for two years. When Preston came back home, he and a buddy got together. The buddy, unbeknownst to Preston, entered him in the bareback riding at a rodeo. Is that cool? the buddy asked Preston. He had sold all his equipment, so he told his friend he’d ride, if the friend could find him a riggin’ and a glove. They found some, and Preston was back to riding.
He has had some help throughout his career from two time world champ bareback rider Lan LaJeunesse and another bareback rider, Hutch Haslam. He counts 2014 as the year when it really started to click for him. He qualified for the RMPRA Finals that year and finished in sixth place.
For fun, he loves to fly fish, hunt, ride dirt bikes, snowmobile, be horseback, and any activity which involves being outside.
He loves staying busy, and after he’s done working his pipeline construction job, he helps neighbors on the weekends, moving cattle, fencing, and other ranch chores.
He is the son of Brad and Caterina