story by Linsday Humphrey Making the decision to commit to rodeo as a high school sophomore has forever changed Rylan Wildeman’s life for the better. […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member: Trey Ahring
story by Lily Weinacht
Bull riding hooked Trey Ahring into the rodeo world when he was 12. The 18 year old from Garnett, Kan., also entered the bareback riding for several years and went to the NHSFR in the event in 2014, but he’d much rather be holding a bull rope than a bareback rigging. “I like the danger factor more,” he admits, “but riding bulls is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Trey is the first of his family to compete in rodeo, introduced to the sport by his friend, Jesse Pope, who played on the same baseball team. “He was telling me about Homestead Rodeo Schools and how they practiced every week and had bucking machines,” Trey explains. “The first couple times I got on bulls, I got beat up pretty bad, and it scared my mom, but she’s gotten used to me riding now. She videos all my rodeos.” He credits George Steinberger with Homestead Rodeo Schools with helping him get his start. Trey watches all his rides, as well as other bull riding videos, and has attended a bull riding school taught by PBR athlete Pistol Robinson. He continues to go to practice several times a week, also getting pointers from Jesse Pope’s dad, Brett. “When I started riding bulls, I didn’t have much talent,” says Trey. “I had to work harder than the other guys, and I still do. I have to dedicate myself, but I like working hard. To achieve what you’ve worked hard for feels a lot better.”
In addition to the work ethic he’s gained through rodeo, Trey enjoys the travelling and extra time spent with his family. He drives out with his parents, Travis and Tracey Ahring, while his sister, Tatum (15), frequently comes along to cheer for Trey. His grandma, Pam Ahring, is also one of his biggest supporters. “Going to Rock Springs (Wyo.) for Nationals was cool. I liked competing on a bigger stage and the chance to be a national champion. I was one spot out last year, but I’m working on another qualification for this summer.”
It’s both Trey’s final season in the KHSRA and his final year of high school. He graduated on May 15th from Anderson County High School, but not before making it on the school’s weight lifting squat record board. The record weight is more than 400 pounds, and Trey made it to 375. “I’m the lightest kid to be on the record board – it took me the whole school year to work up to that,” he says. “I also do a lot of core exercises and running for my bull riding.” Trey additionally played football, baseball, and basketball his freshman year, but stuck to basketball the next three years so it wouldn’t conflict with rodeo.
Prior to graduation, Trey signed on with Fort Scott Community College, where he’ll be attending school on a rodeo scholarship and studying Agriculture or a degree related to that. Before packing his bags for school, however, Trey has a summer of rodeoing planned with the KHSRA and United Rodeo Association. He’s won Paola’s URA rodeo back to back in 2014 and 2015 and finished in the top ten during the association’s finals, along with winning the bull riding three consecutive nights at URA rodeos in Missouri last year. He and his travel partner for the URA rodeos, Tate Sly, also plan to enter several NFPB bull ridings this summer. The rest of Trey’s time will go to soaking up his family. “Dad likes to grill dinner for us, and during the summer, we’ll go out to the lake. We’ll also try to watch the Kansas City Royals play whenever we can – they’re our favorite team.
“My goals for college are to make the College National Finals, and keep working my way up,” Trey concludes. “I eventually want to be a World champion.”