Want to Rope? Go to Work
“I got tired of rodeoing, tired of being broke,” admitted Josh Patton, owner operator of Wild West Trailers, LLC, in Lubbock, Texas, and recent BFI heeler and winner of $100K with up-and-comer James Arviso when the team finished second, a mere 0.1 second behind 2022 champs Jake Clay and Billie Jack Saebens.
The company is entering into its seventh year and, according to Patton, those seven years have come with quite the learning curve.
“It’s been growing pains since we started. We’ve been pretty fortunate.”
As most know, while current events have increased demand, particularly in horse-related markets, supply remains a sincere challenge. But the team at Wild West employs the tools for success, and they’ve proven to be a mighty hammer.
“The roping is what sells the trailers, and good people. We’ve been all over rodeoing, too, so that helps. We [had] a foundation whenever we started the trailer deal because one friend will tell another friend and that’s how we started. And, you know, customer service, of course, is a big deal of ours.”
Market challenges aside, the trailer industry has demonstrated growth and innovation for years, and the high-end offerings from Wild West are no exception.
“The high end is crazy,” Patton marveled. “You can spend $300K easy. Everybody wants the new. The new look, the new cabinets. In the interiors, everybody likes the farmhouse [style.]”
Wild West offers horse and stock trailers, as well as truck beds, from brands like Cimarron Trailers, 4-Star Trailers, Eby and HydraBed, to name a few. They also do a lot of trades, if new isn’t what you need.
“We buy and sell lots of used ones,” Patton said.
Symbiotically, while the roping helped Wild West get its start, in return, the company is very much the reason Patton—who remembers finishing 20th in the world the same year he made the Cheyenne and Pendleton short rounds roping with JoJo LeMond—has been enjoying some great successes in the roping arena, including more than $60K in earnings in Las Vegas last year between the Ariat World Series Finale and the South Point Qualifier. And, in 2020, his USTRC Finals earnings added up to nearly $23K.
“I got my good horse back two years ago, at the US Finals. I bought another one from Wesley Thorp and Hunter Koch, and he’s been really good. I’ve got a bunch of really good horses now. That’s kind of the key to success, really.”
The last time Patton went hard at rodeoing was 2010, but there are some dreams that won’t quit and some people that won’t quit their dreams.
“My goal is to try to rodeo a little bit this summer and get enough money to get into the buildings next year. I’d like to try to make the Finals one time. My wife backs me 100%. It’ll be a little easier to go now.”
Thankfully, the team at Wild West is also primed to take care of business when Patton travels.
“I’ve got really good employees,” Patton emphasized. “We all help each other. If I’m gone, they hold down the fort.”
The path may look different than what Patton imagined it would when he first broke out, but he’s following it through to the end.
“It’s amazing where you can go in your life if you keep on keepin’ on. Just don’t ever lift your head up. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.”