Former Texas Football Standout Now a Top Bull Rider

Reid Barker Makes the Most of his Second PRCA Season

In mid-July twenty two year old bull rider Reid Barker from Comfort, Texas, butted heads with a bull in the Central Wyoming PRCA Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming resulting in injuries that might have other athletes sidelined indefinitely.

A serious concussion, a fractured right orbital bone (eye socket) and surgery could not keep the determined Barker from returning to the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) circuit in pursuit of the coveted PRCA top 15 ranking that would earn him an invitation to the rodeo industry’s Superbowl, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Barker was one of three cowboys to make the whistle in the first round at the August 13th Caldwell Night Rodeo in Caldwell, Idaho. Barker's 83 from that first round was enough to win, but in the last ride of the five-day rodeo, he put up an 86 on D & H’s X118 Hotwired, a grandson of the great Crossfire Hurricane.

"It's a little comforting I didn't even have to ride that bull, but I wanted to make a statement and prove to myself I could do it, hopefully give the crowd something to cheer about," said Barker, sixth in the world standings.

He returned to rodeo competition on August 5th in Canby, Ore., before winning the Caldwell title.

"It can take months, years to get over head injuries," Barker said. "I sat at home for 30 days, getting madder and madder that I wasn't out here. I couldn't wait. I thought, “As soon as they let me go, I'm like a dog off its chain.'"

The 5’8, 160 pound Barker was fourth in the PRCA world standings at the time of his injury and finished the race for the National Finals Rodeo in the number 7 slot. 

Well inside the top 15 standings with $76,227 listed as his 2014 PRCA earnings, Barker has a shot at the gold buckle and is using the off time to prepare for his first opportunity to compete for a PRCA World Championship. Keeping close to home, Barker is keeping his skills honed winning a local bull riding on the 8th and coming in 3rd in Pleasanton the weekend prior.

Barker who has won several CBR Horizon events, competes in all divisions of professional bull riding. He was born in 1992 in San Antonio, Texas.

After winning the Texas High School Bull Riding State Championship in 2011, Barker qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo in 2011. But riding bulls was not the only thing on Barker’s mind. 

Rushing for more than 1,000 yards and scoring 35 touchdowns in one season, Barker, the starting running back on his high school football team, received All-district honors and his team was a semi-finalist in Division I of Texas High School football.

Barker started riding sheep at age four and worked his way up to calves, steers and junior bulls. At age 14, his bull riding career took off as he won the Junior Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Bull Riding in the summer of 2006. 

Barker and his new wife Shelby are at home enjoying the arrival of their baby daughter, Tinley, born on October 21st.



2014 Highlights

• Won the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo Xtreme Bulls

• Won the Caldwell (Idaho) Night Rodeo

• Won the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo (Vernal, Utah)

• Won the World's Oldest Rodeo (Prescott, Ariz.)

• Won the Bell County PRCA Rodeo (Belton, Texas)

• Co-champion at the Pioneer Days Rodeo (Clovis, N.M.)


Career Highlights

• 2013: Co-champion at the Longview (Texas) PRCA Rodeo and finished second at the Oakley Independence Day Rodeo (Oakley City, Utah). Finished 42nd in the world standings with $24,854

• 2012: Earned $6,831 in his rookie season