Father shares rodeo with son

Teen says his confidence and strength to compete in rodeo from from father’s support

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Lisa Walker: Courtesy photo
Joshua Walker ropes a calf at a rodeo in 2011. His father Lewis Walker is standing behind him. Lewis Walker has never missed one of Joshua’s rodeo events.

By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
ccalloway@pntonline.com
Joshua Walker knows that when he’s astride his horse, ready to dominate in tie-down roping, he can look back and his father will be there.
It’s something he can count on because is father has never missed a competition.
Walker, 17, of Dora, said his confidence and strength to compete in rodeo comes from the support of his father Lewis Walker.
“He’s really my emotional and financial backer,” said Joshua. “He’s always there for me. I’ve looked up to him since I was a little kid.”
Rodeo is something Lewis, 53, is able to share with his son from his past but Joshua says he found it on his own.
“He’s never pushed me to do it, rodeo is something I kind of found on my own,” Joshua said. “He was kind of happy I did find it. He wanted to make sure that what I do is something I like doing.”
Lewis says he used to compete in bull riding but now rodeo is more of a family activity. He added that his job has been generous with the time off he takes to be there for his son.
“All I did was the little wranglers deal,” said Lewis Walker. “I’m proud of (Joshua), very proud. He really enjoys it and we never had to ask him to do it.”
Joshua says he’s always grown up with a horse but he didn’t get into rodeo until he was 10.
“It was just kind of something extra for me and my dad,” Joshua said. “It’s something about it, it looked challenging and it looked fun and I’m always after a challenge and I found out that I really kind of like it.”
Joshua says his father is his best team member because he keeps him fed and hydrated and takes care of his horses when he can’t. Whether he’s giving him a ride to his competition or advice on life, Joshua says his father is his go-to guy. 6-16-Father's2-WEB
“He’s really been there for the mental part (of rodeo), the physical part came kind of natural for me,” Joshua said. “He always made sure I kept my head and made sure I never got too aggravated with anything.”
Although rodeo is a big part of Joshua’s upbringing, Lewis says he’s dad in all other aspects of Joshua’s life.
“All our biggest deal is keep your grades up and we’ll take you,” said Lewis. “He’s become a very mature young man. Competition doesn’t seem to bother him.”
Lewis said they have a busy life but family comes first and they’re a rodeo family.
“It’s a family deal for us,” Lewis said. “Our whole family does it or we wouldn’t do it. We support him 100 percent.”
Lewis Walker said his son has taught him patience through the process while seeing his son grow.
“He handles pressure well, he’s pretty outgoing when it comes to roping,” Lewis said.
“There’s a lot of pressure, you got a lot of people watching just for one
run,” Joshua added. “If you don’t got a good solid family backing you, it can be really hard.”

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