Ryan Watkins – Bluff Dale, Texas
2-time WNFR qualifier
2004 NIRA all-around champion
2004 – 2005 NIRA tie-down roping champion
The history of tie-down roping goes back to ranching where calves would be roped for a variety of reasons including doctoring them if they were sick.
Ryan Watkins lived that history growing up on his family’s ranch near Alliance, Neb. After High School he became a Tarleton Texan furthering his education at the University that calls the “Cowboy Capital of the World” home.
That move to Stephenville was a big step. He earned tie-down roping titles twice (2004 – 2005) as well as the 2004 all around championship in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. He was part of the 2005 NIRA mens’ team champions that also included Bray Armes who is competing at the year’s WNFR in steer wrestling.
Tarleton was also the place Watkins met his future bride, Denver Mundorf. They got married in 2007 and have a son Clay Reed and daughter Maggie. Denver competed for Tarleton State University’s rodeo team in the breakaway roping.
This year’s season has been one of Watkin’s best since the 30 year old joined the PRCA in 2003. A big highlight was winning the Wrangler Champions Challenge at the Parada Del Sol in Scottsdale. That got his season started with a bang last February earning $5,440.
He’s also had some highlights outside of the arena having been inducted into the Tarleton Rodeo Hall of Fame. And, when he’s not busy roping, he is a valuable employee of Houston-based energy company Shorthorn Resources.