RODEO: Steiner following in family’s footsteps

Competing in rodeos means packing things up quickly and spending large amounts of time on the road.

The athletes competing at the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo are familiar with that lifestyle and some of them are just starting their journeys into the professional world.

Weatherford’s Rocker Steiner was at his fourth rodeo of the year when he competed in the bareback riding event Saturday at the Ector County Coliseum.

Steiner had already traveled to events in Iowa, Mississippi and Louisiana before making his way to Odessa.

His 86.5 score in the go-round was good enough to earn him his first Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association win, along with $2,177.04.

Steiner was nervous before his ride, but knew he had a solid performance when he saw his final score.

“I drew that horse about two weeks ago and I’ve been pretty nervous,” Steiner said. “It was nerve-wracking when we got something that bucks like that, to come out smelling like a rose is pretty nice.”

Steiner has rodeo in his bloodline, as his father and grandfather both became world champions in different events.

His grandfather, Bobby, won a world title in bull riding and his father, Sid, made his mark as a steer wrestler.

The 18-year-old said he has been working toward his first professional victory for four years.

Because of his young age, he hasn’t hit the road as much as other competitors yet but he knows he needs to showcase his skills as much as he can to reach his ultimate goal.

Like his family members before him, Steiner also wants to be a world champion.

“I haven’t done this PRCA thing very long, I’ll go to as many rodeos as I need to go to the big show,” Steiner said. “If I need to go to 30, I’ll go to 30. If I need to go to 60, I’ll go to 60. If I need to go to 100, I’ll go to 100.

“Whatever it takes.”

He is using his youth to his advantage, as he doesn’t need to take too long to recover after competing in bareback riding events.

Some stretching and icing his aches and pains always helps him regain his composure quickly.

Steiner credits his family for the support they have given him through the early part of his rodeo career, with the long road trips helping them strengthen their bond.

After his performance in Odessa, he planned on hopping in an RV with his father and grandparents to continue competing in Denver.

Steiner believes the family road trips will stand out when he looks back to his rookie year further into his career.

“I know one day when my career is over, I’ll look back on my first few rodeos and going with my family,” Steiner said. “It’s going to be good memories.”

His first year as a professional is taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, so he was grateful to see fans provide a welcoming atmosphere at the Ector County Coliseum.

This was Steiner’s first time competing at the SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo and he enjoyed the setup of the competition.

“The fans are great, they like to come out here and support,” Steiner said. “We’re in the middle of the desert, so there’s not much to do but come rodeoing.

“I think they’re having some fun and I’m having some fun too.”

With his first professional victory in the books, Steiner believes his career trajectory can continue moving in a positive direction.

“It’s all up from here, we’re just starting,” Steiner said.

>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya