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Bryer Hamilton’s on the Heels of NFR Champion Buddy Hawkins in WCRA Leaderboard
Tennessee’s Bryer Hamilton leads the WCRA Reliance Ranches VRQ Bonus and sits behind 2021 NFR champion heeler Buddy Hawkins in the Rodeo Corpus Christi Leaderboard.
Bryer Hamilton heeling a steer at the 2024 WCRA Stampede at The E.
Bryer Hamilton at the 2024 WCRA Stampede at The E. | Bull Stock Media, courtesy WCRA

Bryer Hamilton currently sits No.1 on the Reliance Ranches VRQ Bonus Leaderboard and No. 2 on the WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi Leaderboard, right behind 2021 NFR average champion Buddy Hawkins. Who is the 26-year-old heeler from Cleveland, Tennessee?

TRJ: You’re a two-time IFR qualifier on the heel side, but when did you first get into roping?

BH: I grew up riding and roping; it’s all I’ve ever known for as long as I can remember. All my family’s roped and rodeoed, and I’ve been on a horse since I can remember. I high school rodeoed and all that, too.

TRJ: When did you realize you wanted to do this forever?

BH: Very young. Really, since I realized you could.

TRJ: What does life look like outside of roping?

BH: That’s about all I do. I just rope and spend time with my family. I’m married, my wife’s name is Lindsey, and we’ve been married for about 2.5 years. We just had a little boy last November. 

TRJ: Living in Tennessee you’re surrounded by multiple rodeo associations. What all do you enter? 

BH: We go to the IPRAs, and then there’s a bunch of amateur associations right around the house here. We go to the NCAs (National Cowboy Association), PCAs (Professional Cowboy Association), SPRAs (Southeastern Professional Rodeo Association) and NCPRAs (National Cowboy Pro Rodeo Association), too. We go to about all of them, really. We get our cards for about everything you can have a card for back here.

Jake Wells heading a steer for Bryer Hamilton at IFR54.
Jake Wells and Bryer Hamilton won Round 1 of IFR54. | Darlena Roberts photo

TRJ:  You qualified for both Rodeo Carolina and Stampede at The E, as well as won a round at the Stampede.  Which accomplishments are you most proud of?

BH: Making the IFR for the first time. That was a pretty big accomplishment at the time. And the success we’ve had at the WCRAs, that’s also been really cool.

TRJ: When did you start nominating for the WCRA?

BH: We started last summer, whenever the nominations opened up for Rodeo Carolina. 

TRJ: Why was Rodeo Carolina important to you?

BH: I’ve always seen [the WCRA rodeos] on TV and knew they paid great. When they said they were having one close to [my] house, we decided it would be worth trying to go to.

TRJ: What do you typically nominate?

BH: We nominate all the better amateur rodeos around here and the IPRA Finals.

TRJ: Did you realize how well you’re doing in the standings? You’re almost neck-and-neck with NFR heeler Buddy Hawkins. How does that feel?

BH: I didn’t. I knew when we nominated Rodeo Carolina, we got a lot of points and got into Guthrie. I knew Guthrie got me a bunch of points as well, but I had no clue I was that high up. It’s for sure cool to be up there that high in the standings and right alongside him.

TRJ: You’re also No. 1 in the Reliance Ranches VRQ Leaderboard, and I know there’s still a long way to go before it finishes out, but how big of a bonus would that be for you?

BH: It would be huge. I could always use $25,000. 

TRJ: What do you like most about the WCRA so far?

I like that you don’t have to go out of your way to go to anything to get qualified. You can just enter where you’re already going and get qualified. When you get out there, anybody’s got a chance. Whoever draws good and does their job has a chance to win a lot of money. 

TRJ: Tell me a little bit about the horses that you have going. 

Pretty much all last year I rode the same one: Hooligan. He’s a 6-year-old gelding I bought off Facebook. I’ve had him for a little over 3 years now, and I just sold myself afoot, and he got the call. He took it really well, and now he’s the one I’m going to ride again all year this year. 

TRJ: What do your goals look like for the year and long term? 

On the year, I want to just try to have some success and try to get back to the IRA Finals and have a chance when we get out there to win. I want to do good at the WCRAs and try to keep getting points and stay toward the top of the VRQ leaderboard. Just rope good and win a little bit.

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