Ageless wonder Will Lowe wins bareback riding in Woodward

Not many professional athletes can say they stayed at the top of their game for two decades. Bodies wear out and younger talent comes along to displace champions.

But Will Lowe has managed this rare feat in ProRodeo of all sports, thanks to his passion for riding bucking horses and living life to the fullest.

“It’s a challenge . . . you’ve got to test yourself,” Lowe said. “You might as well live while you’re here. Sometimes it gets hard to want to get into the fight, but I’m infected, I love doing it.”

The three-time PRCA world champion bareback rider (2003, 2005-06) continues to prove he’s one of the all-time greats by winning ProRodeos like the Woodward (Okla.) Elks Rodeo on June 12.

Lowe’s 87.5-point ride aboard Beutler & Sons Rodeo’s Table Top was three points better than his nearest competition and earned him $2,735.

It was the biggest of a string of checks on the second weekend of June for the Texas cowboy who has been to 15 Wrangler National Finals Rodeos, most recently in 2018.

“It went good, we started there at Woodward and got on a good, young horse of Beutler’s,” Lowe said. “That horse is five years old but with so many rodeos canceled last year, those young ones didn’t get to go to many rodeos.”

“He was snappy and really electric.”

Lowe picked up a check in Cleburne as well and is closing in on the top 15 and another possible NFR at 38.

“Dang sure want to get to the NFR, that’s in the sights,” Lowe said. “We’re sitting good heading into the summer.”

Lowe’s career earnings are pushing $3 million, a remarkable feat for anyone but particularly for someone whose specialty is the physically demanding event of bareback riding.

The danger of the sport was highlighted for Lowe in a spectacular buck-off back in April on another Beutler horse, the renowned Killer Bee, in San Angelo where he was kicked in mid-air but amazingly returned to the bucking chutes to watch the rest of the rodeo.

“You always know something can happen, it’s a dangerous sport,” Lowe said. “I’ve been fortunate. Some guys have had a lot worse things happen to them and have had to give it up. I’ve gotten to keep going.

“You just push it out of your mind. For me, knowing the good Lord takes care of me and even if something goes really bad, knowing you’re going to the right place, that’s how you do it.”

Since his rookie season in 2002, Lowe has witnessed the explosion of talent in his signature event.

“We don’t have a lot of numbers, but the quality is outstanding,” he said.

The growth of prize money available to rodeo athletes also is something Lowe appreciates.

“The committees have stepped up and the money they’re offering makes a big difference in cowboys’ lives,” Lowe said.

Lowe will push for another NFR this summer, with his sons Garret (12) and Levi (9) in tow over the busy Fourth of July.

“I’m entering the ones I want to go to,” he joked.

“I’ll have my boys, so we’ll camp and fish and rodeo. It’ll be a fun time.”

Other winners at the rodeo were steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge (3.4 seconds); team ropers Dustin Egusquiza/Travis Graves (4.7 seconds); saddle bronc rider Kirk Thomson (86 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s No Show Jones); tie-down roper Shane Hanchey (8.4 seconds); barrel racer (Kylee Scribner 17.01 seconds); steer roper Corey Ross (43.6 seconds on three head) and bull rider (Maverick Potter 86.5 points on Beutler & Son Rodeo’s Fake Friend).

Source: ProRodeo

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