time for an introduction

Who’s this Ryne Hutton On Top of the WCRA Leaderboard?
Ryne Hutton is No. 1 on the WCRA Rodeo Corpus Christi Leaderboard on the head side. But who is he?
Ryne Hutton spinning a steer at the 2024 WCRA Stampede at the E.
Ryne Hutton spinning a steer at the 2024 WCRA Stampede at the E. | Bull Stock Media, courtesy WCRA

Believe it or not, being a football fan proved the catalyst to Ryne Hutton’s rise to the top of the World Champions Rodeo Alliance (WCRA).

When the WCRA—still in its infancy—hosted the Titletown Stampede in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in June of 2019, it grabbed Hutton’s attention.

“I’m a big football fan and when I saw they were having an event in Green Bay, I thought that would be pretty awesome to go to something like that,” Hutton, 25, explained. “I told my buddy, we need to start nominating for those.”

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Hutton was busy rodeoing as a Texas Tech Red Raider at the time but finally got his first chance at the WCRA last fall at Rodeo Carolina, the richest rodeo east of the Mississippi held in Tryon, North Carolina. He and partner, Brayden Parker, were back again at the Stampede at The E in January 2024.

“We made a couple of good runs and made it to the short go at Guthrie,” Hutton said. “It was a great event.”

If it seems odd that a football fan who is named after his father’s favorite baseball player, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, has come to be a dominant team roper, it shouldn’t.

“My whole family has been involved in rodeo,” Hutton, who grew up in Boerne, Texas, noted. “My grandfather built horse trailers . . . he made the trailers for the George Strait [Team Roping Classic] for years. That was my mom’s dad.”

“And my dad’s side—they had a saddle and tack booth out at the Finals from ’85, when it first moved to Vegas, until 2016.”

Hutton had ropers in the family, including his uncle and his father, Bart. Surprisingly though, Hutton himself didn’t actually get hooked until high school.

“I was big in baseball so I didn’t really start roping until I was 14,” he admitted. 

Hutton has wasted little time since trading the baseball mitt for a roping glove. He graduated from Tech in 2022 and has been burning up the road, competing in the Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

“I’ve been on my permit [in the PRCA] and I’m buying my card next year to go for the Rookie of the Year,” Hutton said.

Hutton also enjoys jackpotting and is gearing up for the Bob Feist Invitational next month.

“I’m really looking forward to that,” he said. “It’s all horsepower there.”

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Horsepower is one of his key strengths. He’s got a good sorrel that came from his dad’s friend Trevor Brazile, a mare that Kelly Barker trained and his number one, Jerome.

“My family bought him from Cathy Twisselman, the Twisselman Ranch in California when he was three years old. Billie Jack Saebens trained him for us and my best friend Skeeter Hill hauled him two year ago to season him for me,” Hutton said. “He’s eight years old and has just been phenomenal for me.”

“He scores and leaves so flat across the line. He runs hard to cattle, which I’m a guy who likes to get close, I don’t have a lot of range, so he lets me do that,” he continued. “He’s the fastest horse I’ve ever had.”

“He’s the man and I’m fortunate to have him.”

While Hutton can be found in an arena roping almost every day, he also stays busy helping out with his family’s hunting ranch in Uvalde, where he moved back to after finishing school.

“We do white tail and exotics year round plus my dad owns the Kabota dealership in Uvalde, Texas Ag Equipment, and we have a bunch of cattle and horses to ride,” Hutton said. “There’s always something to do and never a dull moment around here.”

While he’s multi-tasking, Hutton is keeping focused on the WCRA and its lucrative opportunities such as the Reliance Ranches Virtual Rodeo Qualifier (VRQ) Points Champion Bonus. Hutton is the current leader, staring down a year end bonus worth $25,000 to the high point earner in 2024.

Hutton also leads all headers for Rodeo Corpus Christie in May. Winners in Corpus not only get the custom surfboards given to the champions, they will also be invited to be on the Free Riders, the WCRA’s team for the inaugural Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo to be held May 17 in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium.

“I think that’s a great deal,” Hutton said of Kid Rock’s Rock N Rodeo. “That’s definitely our goal, my partner and I.”

Hutton and Parker, who met through mutual friends, will stay on the road, nominating their rodeo and jackpot efforts as they strive to stay on top of the leaderboards.

“There are some phenomenal guys behind me, NFR guys, so we’ll keep nominating and see how it goes,” Hutton said. 2023 Rodeo Corpus Christie Champ Riley Kittle and NFR header Nelson Wyatt are closest. “Hopefully we can stay up there.”

In addition to the chance for the $1 million Kid Rock event, Rodeo Corpus Christie offers its own perks, namely a $600,000-plus payout, just one of the reasons Hutton is a fan of the WCRA.

“Their payouts are phenomenal,” he said. “You don’t have to go all year [to get qualified] and their setups are awesome.”

“They’re in cool towns and are just a cool experience.”

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