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Wesley Thorp's Success Story

At only 28 years old, Wesley Thorp is already a household name in professional rodeo. With eight trips to the NFR, two World Championships, and one Average title, he is already a legend in his own right.

From a young age, Wesley spent most of his time on the back of a horse. From helping his dad and grandpa on the ranch to junior rodeos, Wesley couldn’t get enough of it. It wasn’t long before he knew this was how he wanted to make a living one day.

Rookie Lessons to Gold Buckles

It was evident that Wesley had talent from a young age. Through high school rodeo, he made the Texas State Finals all four years and qualified for the National High School Finals once. College rodeo was where Wesley began to shine, making the College National Finals three times and winning the Nation two times.

“From a 30,000 feet view, it looks like a fairytale career from a young age. And it has been more than I could’ve dreamed of, but I still got knocked down a lot and had some growing pains.”

When 2016 came around, everything began to change for Wesley. Zac Small approached him about roping together, and the fairytale began. When the dust settled at the end of 2016, Wesley made his first NFR appearance with partner Zac.

“Through the growing pains, I knew no one was saving a spot for you at the NFR. I never felt entitled to a spot there. I just did everything I could to make it. Making it that first year gave me the confidence I needed.”

Growing up Fast

While learning the ropes of professional rodeo, Wesley was also learning to be a husband and a father in his early twenties. He married Susanna in 2017, just one year after his first NFR qualification. Shortly after that, Wesley and Susanna started their family and welcomed their first son into the world that same year.

Needless to say, Wesley was experiencing major life changes in every area of his life. When most people struggle to find a balance, Wesley adapted and excelled in all areas. Unlike many career paths, when rodeo is how you provide for your family, it can mean taking more time away from them which can be challenging.

“Starting a family young made me grow up sooner and made me realize exactly what I wanted out of life at an early age. I wanted to always keep my family first, but sometimes that meant doing what was necessary for my career, which took me away from them more.”

With both of Wesley’s sons a little older now, he can take them and Susanna almost everywhere with him. Wesley has found a balance that some struggle to find; he is a fierce competitor in the arena and a loving husband and father outside of it.

“I am not sure if my boys will get into rodeo, but they like to ride and rope the dummy, and I think it’s a great industry to raise a family in.”

The Roll That Never Stopped

Team Ropers and partner changes are just part of the course. Sometimes, you have to switch it up to find the winning combination, and that’s precisely what Wesley and Tyler Wade did. They started roping together in late Spring, and this team didn’t take long to click.

Come late July, these two couldn’t be stopped. From placing in a round at Cheyenne to grabbing checks at Ogden, Spanish Fork, and Deadwood, this team was on a roll! But the winning ways didn’t stop there. Wesley and Tyler carried that momentum from late summer into the Northwest run and through the end of the season.

When the dust settled on the 2023 season, Wesley ended the year number 1 in the World, and his partner Tyler just missed ending number 1 in the World by a few thousand dollars.

The NFR is a marathon, a roller coaster of ups and downs for all the contestants, and Tyler and Wesley were no different. They had their share of runs they would like to have back, but they also capitalized when needed. At the conclusion of the 2023 NFR, Tyler and Wesley were crowned the 2023 World Champions.

“It was a really cool feeling to finish what we started. To win the regular season at the end of the year and go into the finals number 1, sealing the deal was really sweet.”

 

SUCCEED for Long Lasting Careers

Wesley knows that he would not have the career he does without his horses. He also knows that finding good horses is not easy. Therefore, taking care of his horses’ health is of the utmost priority.

“RayJay had always struggled with digestive issues, but ever since I consistently stuck with SUCCEED, he hauled better and was more relaxed overall.”

Wesley first learned about SUCCEED from his vet a few years ago. His good horse, RayJay, struggled with digestive issues while on the road, affecting his overall behavior and performance. Wesley’s vet would give him SUCCEED to take on the road, and it didn’t take long for Wesley to notice a tremendous difference.

“You have to take care of them. The good horses are so hard to find and so hard to keep going, so anything you can do to give yourself an advantage helps.”
When Wesley consistently made SUCCEED a part of his program, RayJay ate better, hauled better, and filled out more. The changes he saw were so significant that he now keeps eight to ten horses on SUCCEED.

Life on the road comes with so many variables for both horse and rider. Unfortunately, freak accidents can happen every day, whether that’s in the arena or simply tied to the trailer. Wesley notices a difference not just in the current effect SUCCEED has on his horses but also the bigger picture. If their digestive issues are in check, they are a more comfortable and happy horse. And a horse who is happy and comfortable is less likely to hurt themselves due to being uptight and overreactive. When you pull up to a rodeo you never know what outside circumstances could be a stress factor for your horse. When their digestive health is in check, these outside factors won’t be as stressful to your horse.

“If you can keep your horse working their best and the most confident they can be, the less likely they are to get sore. If their ulcers are at bay, it’s easier for them to do their job. And if it’s easier for them to do their job, I think you get more time out of them.”

"RayJay had always struggled with digestive issues, but ever since I consistently stuck with SUCCEED, he hauled better and was more relaxed overall."

Team Roping (Heeler)

2023 NFR World Champion
2019 NFR World Champion and Average Champion
8X NFR Qualifier

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