Drew Horner is a suburban cowboy.
He wasn’t raised on a ranch and didn’t learn to rope on a ranch.
Like many of today’s rodeo stars, Horner grew up in the city. He learned to rope in high school and he honed his skills in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Horner, 25, was born in Dallas, resides in Plano and is a junior communications major at North Texas. But he boards his horses in Flower Mound, where he also practices team roping.
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Horner displayed his heading skills in dramatic fashion last week at the renowned Bob Feist Invitational in Reno, Nev. The 37th annual Feist competition was held in conjunction with the Reno Rodeo, which is the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s first major summer show.
Horner and his partner, Buddy Hawkins, each earned $81,250 after they won the average, meaning they finished with the fastest aggregate time after making six runs.
While growing up, Horner received coaching from his father, Tim, who has roped for the past three decades. Tim Horner operates Premier Designs, a jewelry company in Irving.
“I live right smack-dab in suburbia,” Drew Horner said. “I grew up playing a lot of hockey and baseball. I picked up a rope for the first time when I was 15, and the next day I was riding horses. A couple of weeks later, I was roping and then I started setting goals.”
Horner achieved one of his biggest goals last year when he qualified for the PRCA’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Horner also grabbed attention in February, when he and Hawkins won the team roping title at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo.
Last weekend, the PRCA’s top athletes vied for almost $495,000 at the 95th Reno Rodeo.
One former National Finals qualifier who finished in the money was Trent Walls of Stephenville. After competing in the final round Saturday night, Walls clinched the tie-down roping title and earned $9,969.
In saddle bronc riding, Bradley Harter of Weatherford, another former NFR qualifier, clinched the title and earned $8,179. Barrel racing champion Christine Laughlin of Pueblo, Colo., was the rodeo’s highest money winner after pocketing $13,453.
This weekend, the sport’s elite are traveling hard during the time of the year that’s called Cowboy Christmas, when there is an abundance of lucrative rodeos across North America. Some of the larger shows are in Calgary, Alberta, Greeley, Colo., St. Paul, Ore., Cody, Wyo., and Prescott, Ariz.
Cody Ohl, a six-time PRCA world champion from Hico, is sidelined indefinitely after sustaining a rib injury June 22, according to prorodeo.com. Ohl was hit by a heifer while tending to cattle. He spent four days in the hospital — two in Hamilton and two in Waco.
Ohl finished second in the 2013 world tie-down roping race after winning five rounds at the National Finals. He is ranked 33rd in the 2014 race with $15,075.
Trevor Brazile, who is attempting to earn a record PRCA 12th world all-around title, is ranked No. 1 in the 2014 world title race with $117,546. He is $55,403 ahead of his brother-in-law, Tuf Cooper.
Brazile won the all-around titles last weekend at PRCA rodeos in Pecos and Prineville, Ore.