Meet the Member Travis Gardner

by Rodeo News

story by Michele Toberer

“If I could win the World Champion Saddle Bronc title at the IFR this year that would mean everything to me. It would prove to me that I can achieve the goals I set for myself,” Travis Gardner explains. Travis is a 25-year-old Arkansas cowboy that didn’t come from a rodeo background like many rodeo athletes he competes with. He started roping as a junior in high school and continued to dabble in roping until he was 19. The course of his life changed while he was working on a feedlot in the summer helping break colts. “I loved the thrill of getting on the bucking colts, and my boss, Jace Henry, said ‘well if you like the thrill of getting on them, you should come with me on the weekends to the rodeos and make a little money doing it.’” Travis first started going with Jace to ranch rodeos and riding ranch broncs, and then entered saddle bronc riding at rodeos.
The thrill and excitement of his newfound sport only kept growing, and so did the list of rodeos he entered. When Travis was 20 he spent the summer traveling with bullfighter, Rob Gann, and with each rodeo he improved and fell deeper in love with the art of riding saddle broncs. “Rob coached me along the whole way, he is really the one that tuned on me and got me riding like I am now. Rob was an all-around that rode bulls, calf roped, team roped, steer wrestled, and rode broncs.”
After his riding improved, Travis had some success in a few regional associations, but knew that the International Professional Rodeo Association was where he wanted to make his mark. In 2016 he purchased his IPRA card and Travis won the 2016 IPRA Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the year and finished third in the IPRA World Standings.
Travis was born and raised in Mount Vernon, Arkansas and grew up living on his family farm with parents, Frank and Lisa Gardner, his older sister Rachel, and younger brother, Clint. Travis still spends time working on the farm, where they have longhorn and beef cattle, when he is not out rodeoing. His parents own and operate a construction business, so he often helps them part-time running large equipment like bulldozers and tracklayers, as well. When Travis graduated from Rosebud High School in 2012, he had no idea that riding broncs would become his future, but now he can’t imagine anything else in the big picture of his life. “The thrill of riding has stayed the same, I still love it, and I’ve found out that I’m actually decently talented at it, so I keep going on with it.” He is very grateful for the support of his family. “They support me 100%, they love it and they love for me to go out traveling and seeing the country as I do what I love to do.”
Travis has been fortunate to have many great traveling partners, he has traveled with Josh Crager, Austin Joseph, Cody Goertzen, Kim and Taycie Matthews, Cody Rinehart and Justin Rowe, all who have helped him and supported him in his rodeo endeavors. Justin is a 5-time IPRA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider, worked for the Gardner family farm for two years, and was also very helpful to Travis in his riding.
“I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the IPRA. Everyone knows everyone and tries to help you out, it’s just a great environment to be around. The rodeos are all good, and the secretaries are awesome! Gina Hampton and Danna Gann have both helped me a bunch.”
Travis is currently leading the standings for the IPRA saddle bronc riders, with a great lead over his competition, and is more determined than ever to reach his goal of becoming the 2018 IPRA World Champion Saddle Bronc Rider.

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

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin