Many rodeo athletes have dreamed of a career in the sport since they could walk. For 41-year-old steer wrestler Matt Reeves, life as a rodeo athlete looked a little different when he started out.
“I never thought when I was a little kid that I was going to go rodeo for a living,” Reeves said.
Originally from Pampa, Texas, Reeves attended Texas A&M University with a degree in Animal Science and no intention of making rodeo his full-time gig. Against his initial thoughts as a youngster, he bought a PRCA card after graduation and eventually set his mind to succeeding in the sport. With his PRCA tie-down roping father as his inspiration, his full-time rodeo career began.
Reeves has seen a lot of success in his career. After winning the steer wrestling at the 2018 RFD-TV’s The American, he used his earnings to invest in more Angus cattle and was able to grow his herd. For that reason, not only does he love the rodeo aspect at National Western Stock Show, but he has a niche for the cattle shows as well. Investing in cattle is his way of setting himself up for life after he concludes his steer wrestling career.
“I don’t know how much longer I want to rodeo full-time,” Reeves said. “I don’t want to quit rodeo — but I miss home because I miss my wife and kids.”
Reeves said the best part about his job is that he has seen a lot of the country that nobody else will see. But with four-year-old Carson, two-year-old Hudson and wife Savanah at home, it makes being on the road much harder.
Within the last four years, he said the horses are what keep him going. Reeves enjoys training his own bulldogging horses, which is not an easy thing to do. Training a bulldogging horse takes a lot of time and determination, but for Reeves, it’s worth it. He loves seeing his horses succeed in the events.
“The horses have always been like my kids,” Reeves said.
In addition to the hardship of being away from his wife and kids, Reeves also has to manage his type one diabetes while on the road.
“When you rodeo, you better be ready to get over obstacles,” Reeves said. “It’s not who you are, it’s just something you have … You can’t back down, you’re going to have to confront it, move on and persevere if you want to get somewhere.”
Blog post by: Kaitlyn Fulmer, 2020 Marketing & PR Intern
About Kaitlyn Fulmer
Kaitlyn Fulmer is a sophomore at Colorado State University pursuing a degree in Agricultural Business and Animal Science. At Colorado State, she is involved in Kappa Delta Sorority as well as Block and Bridle. After graduation, she hopes to start her own herd of beef cattle while also following her passions with photography. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors and taking photos. She has been a proud patron of Stock Show her entire life, which makes this internship experience so much more special.