By Lindsay Leyden, Rodeo Austin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Rodeo Austin continues to welcome new cowboys and cowgirls to compete at the Ride for the Brand Cowboy Tournament on March 11-25, and many of them are seasoned ProRodeo athletes to say the least. Tyson Durfey, the reigning world champion tie-down roper, has been on the rodeo trail since early January looking to defend his No. 1 spot in the 2017 rodeo season.
"You know, after winning the world title and coming back on a new season, it makes me realize all of the hard work that went into that win," Durfey said. "It's easy to coast along after winning the world, but for me it is working hard and keeping my focus."
So much time, hard work, and discipline is dedicated to practicing, making sure horses are in the best possible shape and health, and traveling from rodeo to rodeo. While the wins are sweet, the amount of hours spent on the road away from family can be a little bit bitter.
The hardest part of rodeo is being on the road and away from my family," Durfey said. "I am blessed to have a super supportive wife; she has grown up in rodeo and understands the work and time that goes into it. As a rodeo competitor you really cherish the time you spend with your family, because you don't always know when that's gonna be.Though the hours can be strenuous at times, seeing the hard work pay off and having a strong support system made up of loved ones make everything worthwhile.
"A cowboy is what I am," Durfey said. "It is ingrained into my blood."
You can see more rodeo athletes now through March 25 at Rodeo Austin.
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