Travis Graves – Jay, Okla. ($103,165)
11-time WNFR qualifier
Fall is Travis Graves’ favorite time of the year. It’s a time when he gets to be at his home in Texas, temperatures are cooler, and he gets to prepare for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Whether he’s been in Oklahoma where he grew up or in Texas, he has always enjoyed the fall. For the 11 years, fall has included plans to spend the first two weeks of December in Las Vegas for the NFR.
He competed at his first NFR in 2008 with Turtle Powell. Then he missed a year, was back in 2010 and has been there every year since. Travis will enter this year’s competition in fifth place with $103,165 in regular season earnings. Most of that was earned with Clay Tryan.
When he ropes in Las Vegas, he will be heeling for number five ranked Ty Blasingame. He’s been very successful in Las Vegas and his career. If he finds that sweet spot in the Thomas and Mack Center this year, he is likely to go over $2 million in career earnings.
He’s been the reserve world champion three times, finished third once and won the average there in 2017 roping with Chad Masters. He grew up in Delaware County, Oklahoma with the tiny town of Jay as his address.
Jay’s population is right around 2,500. Famous people from the town include Ty Powell a former NFL linebacker, Buzz Wetzel, a baseball player and Tommy Morrison, the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1993. Rodeo fans know that Travis Graves should be added to that list. Jay has also produced Brenten Hall who qualified for his first NFR this year in the heading.
Travis and his wife, Tamika, have two children, a son Tee who is seven and a daughter True who is five. That’s another reason fall is his favorite time of year, it’s a time to be home with his family.
They travel with him when schedules allow, but as the kids are in school and have more activities, time rodeoing with dad is more limited. They love what he does and take advantage of every opportunity to go with him. Now they’ll get to spend 10 days in Vegas with him and watch him compete on rodeo’s biggest stage.