Meet the Member Ry Clark

by Rodeo News

story by Lindsay King

Morse, Texas, transplant Ry Clark is an avid competitor in the OHSRA steer wrestling and team roping. “My freshman year I team roped with Yaleigh Yarbrough, the daughter of my dad’s friend Yandy, and we both competed in Texas. Yandy and Yaleigh lived in Elk City, Oklahoma, but competed in Texas up until our sophomore year. I went to Yandy’s house to practice and somehow he convinced me to compete here,” said the 17-year-old. Ry competed in Oklahoma while he was still living in Texas his junior year but moved in with Yandy about a year ago. “There are a lot of competitors at every OHSRA event and we are all there to help each other. All the parents are great too, they cheer for everyone no matter if their kid is in the event or not.” With more bull doggers in Oklahoma than Texas, Ry can afford to go to more events.
“I like the challenge of steer wrestling the best. It is different than any other event, because each of us is helping out by hazing or pushing cattle or whatever it might be. We are a very close-knit group.” Roney, his dad, used to be a pickup man and a team roper. While his mom Veann never competed in rodeo she has always supported Ry and his brother Reece, 23. “I have been around rodeo my whole life, so what else would I want to do really?” Once a bull dogger himself, Yandy coaches Ry in the event. “He looks at the positive side of everything, all he wants for the kids he coaches is that they have fun. He tries to make us the best we can be.”
Ry seems to have the best luck at Shawnee, making it his favorite rodeo to attend. He is looking forward to competing in Cheyenne one day. “It is such a challenge to give a steer that much of a head start and how fast the horses are going when the bull doggers jump off.”
Ry came close last year to accomplishing his long-time goal of winning at Nationals but fell short. He won steer wrestling at state last year sending him to Nationals to take third overall. “That has been my proudest moment so far. It was such a big rodeo to do well at and I accomplished the goal I had set for myself that year.”
Both Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Southeastern have caught Ry’s eye for his college degree. “I like that Altus is a smaller school and I already know the rodeo team coach, Stockton Graves, so it would be a good place to start.” His plan includes working as a pharmaceutical sales representative right out of school until he can run his own cow/calf operation. Being homeschooled through Epic Charter Schools allows the senior time to practice and day work for surrounding ranches. “I work for a lot of different ranchers around here. They just call me when they need something done. I can do anything from branding and farming to building fences. Just about anything that needs to be done on a ranch I can do.”
The value of a good horse in the bull dogging is not lost on Ry. He is thankful for the support of his family in his rodeo career so far, but also the opportunities he has gotten. “Yandy is friends with Josh Purcell. When Josh hurt his shoulder last year I got to ride his horses for the past year and a half. They were the ones that I won state and went to Nationals on.” Ry’s best advice to younger competitors is that nothing replaces a solid foundation in your event or an experienced and consistent horse. “Yandy and my dad always remind me, there is always another rodeo so not to sweat the small stuff or when something goes wrong in the arena.”

                © Rodeo Life Media Corporation | All Rights Reserved • Laramie, Wyoming • 307.761.9053

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