Blackfeet Country has always been noted for its rodeo stars, with competitors of both genders winning titles of every description. This year, among the many rodeo success stories, one young roper managed to win the World Championship in Junior Breakaway Roping at the Indian National Finals Rodeo.
Fifteen-year-old Ty Vaile started in rodeoing when he was but five years old, following in his parents’ footsteps. Ty related in a telephone interview on Nov. 1 that his mother, Traci, and father, Gus, both rodeo. He said that Traci competes in team and breakaway roping and used to compete in barrel racing, and Gus competes in team and breakaway roping and used to compete in calf roping.
“I admire my mom and dad,” Ty said, adding, “professionally I admire Dustin Bird and team roper Kaleb Driggers.” While Ty respects his parents, they didn’t encourage him to enter the sport; instead it was Ty’s choice to begin competing in both team and breakaway roping
His record at INFR is impressive, having roped three calves in 7.69 total seconds, winning both average and year-round scores. In addition, he made it into the National Junior High Finals in South Dakota last June.
Although he is a freshman at Maricopa High School in Arizona, he competes more in Canada than anywhere else in calf and team roping. His mom and dad help out with traveling to far-flung events. “They’ve always been there for me,” he said.
Asked whether rodeo might become a career path for him, Ty said, “I think it’s a career; it’s pretty cool. It’s really fun, being on horses with my friends and family and traveling. If I can, I’d like to keep rodeoing in college, probably in Texas.”
Being on the young side, Ty has some advice for upcoming rodeo stars. “Work at it and you’ll get to where you want to be.”