story by Lindsay Humphrey After four years of success in the Young Guns association in Dodge City, Kansas, one thing continues to allude Brecken Tullis […]
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Meet the Member: Weston Patterson
By Lily Weinacht
Weston Patterson from Waverly, Kan., competes in seven events in the KJHSRA, but he is quick to narrow down his favorites to bareback steer riding and tie-down roping. While Weston’s dad, Ed Patterson, competed in steer wrestling for 35 years, Weston competes in chute dogging, junior bull riding, bareback and saddle bronc steer riding, tie-down roping, ribbon roping, and team roping as a heeler. “I started off with the bareback riding, and even though it can be harder than some of the other events, I practice a lot, and it’s been easier for me,” says the 14 year old. “I like rodeo because you get to meet more people and win big things, and spending time with all my friends and family is pretty fun!”
Weston began his rodeo career riding bareback ponies in the KJBA before progressing to steers in the KJHSRA. He made the 2015/2016 Junior High Cinch Team in saddle bronc steer riding and completed his first trip to the NJHFR in both the saddle bronc and bareback steer riding. “Nationals was really fun,” says Weston. “I liked hanging out with all my friends and watching them compete, plus walking around the trade center and seeing all the cool things in there.”
Joined in the practice pen by his dad, Weston also looks up to three other cowboys from the area – Dustin Jilek, Cole Wilson, and Ronny Weatherby. “When I first started breakaway roping, Ronny helped me out, and now they all help me with my tie-down roping,” says Weston, who practices often with either his dad or his neighbors. Occasionally, he will also rope with his 15-year-old brother, Michael, who team ropes, but Michael prefers to spend the bulk of his free time hunting or fishing.
Weston and his dad and brother make their home just outside of Waverly. “We’re about three miles from town, and when I have friends over, we’ll saddle up horses and ride into town to the gas station and get something to drink,” Weston explains. “It’s really good for getting the horses used to cars and commotion.” His main roping horse is a 19-year-old paint named Blue Eyes. Next year, Weston plans to start tie-down roping off a roan and keep Blue Eyes for heeling. Roping calves and steers, 12 other horses, and 4 dogs complete the Patterson’s animal headcount.
When he’s not practicing, Weston can be found at Waverly Junior/Senior High School, diligently studying and keeping his grades up so he can continue to rodeo. An eighth grader, he especially enjoys science and doing experiments, while the other highlight of his school day is playing football. He plays running back, and Weston’s team has only lost one game this season. Once football is over, Weston starts basketball, while he also runs track. The rest of his time is usually spent with his friend and rodeo travelling partner, Ty Pope, who is also on the football team.
Other than his trip to the NJHFR, Weston’s favorite memory from the summer was visiting his friends in Cross Plains, Texas, and going hog hunting. “This was my first time, and it was a little different – hogs are more aggressive than deer – but we got two hogs and one sow,” says Weston.
Now focused on his rodeo goals for the season, Weston says, “I’d like to college and pro rodeo in timed events and roughstock. I want to thank my dad and all my family and friends that have helped me come this far and be good at rodeoing!”