Whetham uses stereotypes to motivate him
“Most people who rodeo have been doing it since they were young and have been on horses all of their lives. I’ve only been doing it for four years,” said Ryan Whetham, sophomore. “At first knowing that information was intimidating, now it helps to motivate me.”
Whetham came to Pratt Community College on a rodeo scholarship to team rope and steer wrestle. Last year he received an Associate of Applied Science in Farrier Science, which is a one year horse shoeing school and this year he is pursuing a degree in Ag Business.
“I had been to Kansas before and I really liked it,” he said. “I knew I wanted to go to school in Kansas. When I came to Pratt on a visit I really liked that the arena and stalls were on-campus and I thought me and the coach would get along well.”
Whetham said not being from this area, is another thing that people think he has going against him.
“People hear where I’m from and don’t think people from the East Coast have as much talent,” he said. “It just gives me one more thing to prove and helps to motivate me that much more.”
Whetham said he got involved in rodeo because he lives right next to Cowtown, which is the oldest weekly running rodeo in the nation and when he would go watch, he wanted to do it.
Right before his sophomore year of high school, Whetham was able to make that dream a reality.
His family had bought horses to have on their family farm and Whetham met Joe Bell, who helped him get into it and taught him the techniques
He tried team roping, calf roping and steer wrestling and stuck with the two.
Last year, Whetham won team roping at the PCC rodeo, won steer wrestling in Colby and made the short-go in steer wrestling in Guymon, Okla.
“My goal is to make it to the short-go as much I can and to get a spot in the finals,” he said. “I really want to be consistent this year.”
To do that, Whetham said he plans to practice harder and be mentally prepared before each rodeo. He said he also went to rodeos all summer and did pretty well so is hoping that continues this rodeo season.
Come out to support Whetham and the rest of the PCC rodeo team Oct. 3 through Oct. 5 at the Huffman Arena on Pratt’s main campus.
The rodeo kicks off Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. and will continue Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. On Oct. 5 the rodeo will start at 1 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for adults single performance and children under 10 get in free.