By Lindsay Leyden, Rodeo Austin
AUSTIN, Texas -- Rodeo Austin welcomed another qualifying round of contestants on Thursday night in the Ride for the Brand Cowboy Tournament. While the contestants play a large role in rodeo production, the animals share an equal amount of importance.
Bennie Beutler, co-owner of Beutler & Sons Rodeo Company, has returned to Rodeo Austin for the 12th consecutive year to serve as the official stock contractor. Bennie and his son, Rhett Beutler, own and operate the Oklahoma-based business and are known around the world for some of the top bucking horses and bulls in the rodeo business.
Bennie is a third-generation stock contractor, and while the profession has been passed down in the Beutler family, his success has been self-made.
People don't realize how much work it is," Bennie said. "It's like my dad used to say, 'If you're at home in the rodeo business, you're in trouble.'
While traveling from rodeo to rodeo, the health of the Beutlers' horses and bulls take top priority.
"We start feeding animals at 6:30 every morning; everyone knows the stock gets fed before any of the crew," Beutler said. "We feed about a ton and a half of feed every day and over 50 square bales of hay. Then, we get them ready to go, sort them, and go through whichever particular animals are going that day to make sure they are healthy."
Beutler's work ethic and dedication to his stock's health and performance has helped him stay at the top of the rodeo industry. He was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2010.
Though humble in his successes, Beutler explains how he and his family have been lucky. In 2016, Beutler & Sons Company had 10 horses and five bulls qualify for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
"We work at it and work at it hard, and we've been very lucky," Beutler said. "It's like my dad used to say, 'You kind of make your own luck.'"