Trey Benton III – Rock Island, Texas
3-time WNFR qualifier
There are few bull riders that could ever be considered bigger rodeo fans than Trey Benton III.
That could be because he has participated in so many of the events. He started riding calves and sheep at five years old, then graduated to bareback horses and breakaway roping when he was nine.
He learned both heading and heeling when he was 12 but continued on the course of being a world class bull rider throughout winning the reserve champion bull rider at the Junior High School National Finals. He qualified for the National High School Rodeo Association finals in bull riding and tie-down roping. He is a cowboy through and through working on his father’s ranch whenever he has some spare time.
Benton’s focus is fully on bull riding, but he always takes advantage of an opportunity to go rope and even has started learning to steer wrestle. That has been fruitful as he is making the trip to Las Vegas to compete in his third consecutive Wrangler NFR.
In 2013, Benton qualified for the WNFR in spite of missing the last three weeks of the season and he was on the bubble. A second place finish at the Washington State Fair Rodeo in Puyallup was good for $12,000 but cost him much more than that.
After his final ride there, he got off and the bull stepped on his leg breaking his femur. A few hours later he was in surgery not knowing if he earned enough money to make the WNFR or if he would be healed up in time.
Both of those things happened when he entered the competition in 13th place. He won round five and had successful rides in two other rounds and remained in that spot.
This year has been much different for Benton. He has had the usual bumps and bruises that go along with bull riding but has been relatively healthy after his leg was fully recovered. He started out his year earning nearly $8,000 at the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo and kept earning his way to the WNFR where he will start in second place.
Benton was the 2012 Resistol Rookie of the year. There have been four other rookies who have gone onto win world titles, Matt Austin, Mike White, Jim Sharp and Ted Nuce. All but Nuce won their world championships just two years after earning the rookie award. Benton could add his name to that very prestigious list this year.