Cowboy Diaries: Bobby Welsh -- Houston Champeen Defends His Title
True cowboys are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Each day, Hair Balls will spotlight one person with enough dirt on his boots to call himself a cowboy -- and mean it.
Name: Bobby Welsh Age: 27 Hometown: Gillette, Wyoming Event: Bull Riding
I've been to Rodeo Houston the last seven years or something like that. I won it last year.
My favorite part about rodeoing is that it's a childhood dream and a family tradition, you might say. I grew up in a family who rode bulls -- my uncle and my dad were very good at it -- so I kind of wanted to follow in their footsteps and be a rodeo cowboy.
I started riding bulls when I was seven years old. I remember every second of that experience. He was a yearling bull -- in Wisconsin, you start off riding those kinds of bulls instead of cattle or steers. He made a jump and fell down a little bit. I hung through it and he went to bucking again. He was the first bull I initially got on and I rode for the complete six seconds [which was the time count for junior riders at the time].
When I'm not rodeoing, I have a wife and four kids at home so we're running to soccer, wrestling and dance. The family's all coming down to Houston this week. They'll be here for ten days so we'll get to hang out. I'm really looking forward to it.
Growing up, I played everything you can think of: soccer, basketball, football, wrestling. If it was going on and it didn't interrupt my bull riding, I was out there.
If I wasn't rodeoing, I think I would be an agriculture teacher. I had a really good relationship with my ag teacher in school and he had a lot of influence on the kids. I grew up on a dairy farm for ten years and then moved to a ranch in Wyoming, so I've always had that agriculture background. I actually went to school for a little while to become an ag teacher.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.