Kyle Irwin – Robertsdale, Ala. ($83,472)
5-time WNFR qualifier
Kyle Irwin has rightly earned the nickname Alabama Slamma.
The native of Robertsdale, Alabama has qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo five times. That’s twice more than any other Alabaman in NFR history. Rick Carpenter competed on three occasions in the saddle bronc riding.
Kyle made his first trip to Las Vegas to compete for rodeo’s championships in 2014. He qualified in 10th place and with a stellar NFR finished as the reserve world champion. He was back again in 2015, missed 2016 and has been there each year since.
This year he has qualified in eighth place with $83,472 in regular season earnings. Much of his success the past three years has been due to horsepower. Kyle, along with fellow steer wrestler Tyler Pearson owns Canted Plan “Scooter,” a two-time AQHA/PRCA steer wrestling horse of the year.
Scooter came into their lives in 2015, the same year that Kyle married Randa Dewees, a Florida cowgirl who competed in barrel racing and goat tying through college. Motherhood has changed that. They have two small children, a son, Tripp, and daughter Ellie Marie who was born on the first day of the 2019 rodeo season.
When Kyle’s not on the rodeo trail, he can be found helping neighbors with cattle work and doing all he can to support the beef industry. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Northwestern Oklahoma State University where former NFR steer wrestler Stockton Graves was his coach.
It’s likely that Kyle will be involved in a beef cattle operation full-time in the future. His fans hope that is not too soon and that he will be the first world champion to ever hale from Alabama.