At just 3-years-old, Stephenville resident Trey Ireland discovered his love for riding sheep and that passion has led to him qualifying for the Jr. National Finals Rodeo that will take place in Las Vegas Dec. 4-8.
Ireland, now 16, progressed from riding sheep to calf riding, steer riding and junior bull riding.
His love for rodeo is definitely in his blood.
“His grandpa and his dad and his uncles, they all rodeoed, [doing] rough stock riding, bucking horses and bulls,” said Amee Ireland, Trey’s mom. “I run barrels; his little brother rides junior bulls. It’s been a long family history.”
Originally from Oregon, Trey and his family moved to Stephenville a year ago so they could rodeo.
“He (Trey) didn’t have the opportunities in the northwest to be able to do what he wanted to do and we had an opportunity to move as a family so we did and we came to Stephenville,” Amee said.
Trey has won the 2019 World Championship Junior Bull Riding in the AJRA (American Junior Rodeo Association) in the 16 to 19-year-old division and the Built God Tough 2019 Championship in Jr. Bull Riding.
He said the best part about rodeoing is “being able to do what I love” and he’s most excited about competing in the Jr. National Finals Rodeo because he’s "able to get on with people I know and have a good time."
Trey is currently enrolled in online school and hopes to become a member of the Tarleton State University Rodeo Team and head to the National Finals Rodeo and possibly the Professional Bull Riders Association.
“It’s been incredible just watching his growth in and out of the arena,” Amee said. “We had numerous people that have kept him under their wing and been treating him like he’s their own, helping and guiding him both in and out of the arena. There’s been several families in Stephenville that have contributed to his growth and it's been very cool. We are very blessed to be a part of this community.”