Greeley Stampede rodeo: Florida cowboy Dylan Werner earns bull-riding title |

Greeley Stampede rodeo: Florida cowboy Dylan Werner earns bull-riding title

Matt Schuman
Greeley, Colo.
JIM RYDBOM/jrydbom@greeleytribune.comBullrider John Jacobs barely misses getting kicked by a bull named Cowtown Red while competing in the finals of the rodeo Sunday afternoon at the Greeley Stampede.

It’s been quite a week for Dylan Werner. First his engagement to his fiancee Tiffany Massey and now a rodeo title.

The rookie cowboy completed his big week on Sunday at the Greeley Stampede with a ride of 87 in the bull riding to win the event with a total score of 172.

Not bad for a guy still learning the ropes as a pro. Even more impressive is the fact the Werner didn’t exactly grow up in an area known for rodeo – Florida.

He was born in Virginia Beach, Va., and lived in North Carolina awhile. His father worked on boats that cleaned up oil spills, so for two years he lived in the Virgin Islands where his dad’s company had a contract to work. They rented a house on a 2,000-acre cattle ranch, so Werner said he “thought he was a cowboy down there.”

When he was 11, his family moved to Davie, Fla., so Werner thought his cowboy days might be over. Instead, it was just beginning. He moved right across the street from a rodeo arena and started learning about the sport he loved.

“That is kind of where I ended up all the time and whenever they had a rodeo, I was there,” Werner said.

Still, the only place to practice was an a Seminole Indian range where there was a practice pen. He also had to convince his parents to let him ride. They were both hesitant at first, but his dad talked his mom into letting him give it a try.

“He told her I was probably going to fall off and hate it,” Werner said. “But I fell off pretty hard and I loved it. And I have just been getting on ever since.”

The good news was that the Seminole Indian range was the perfect place for him to hone his skills as a junior bull rider.

“The Seminole Indians, they had a bunch of kids getting on and they bought a bunch of older bulls that were slow and just good to learn on,” said Werner, who still resides in Bushnell, Fla., when he is not on the circuit. “So I just kind of fit in with that crowd and just kept getting on and progressing.”

He has certainly progressed. After earning no money last year, Werner is currently 20th in the world standings with $28,277 and could move even higher with his win at the Stampede.

“It is a big relief, actually,” Werner said. “I had a good first part of the year and it kind of slowed up there for a little while. But as long as you stay positive and believe you are going to ride the next ride, you are going to stay better off than if you’re (mad) and throwing your stuff around.”

Another cowboy who was relieved Sunday was three-time world champion bareback rider Will Lowe of Gardner, Kan. He won his first-ever title at the Greeley Stampede, finishing with an 87 and a 170 total.

“It makes for a big notch on the belt,” Lowe said. “My wife is from here in (Eagle) Colorado, so they have been over here and a lot of my family got to come over and watch. So that dang sure made it more special.”

It was also special for Lowe because he got off to a slow start this season after missing the first part of it recovering from strained nerves in his neck and shoulder surgery for a torn labrum he suffered four years ago.

He’s now 20th in the world standings with $23,939 and believes he is finally healthy enough to make a move back into the top 15 for a shot at the National Finals Rodeo in November.

He knows the check he earned Sunday will help.

“It will make a huge difference,” Lowe said.