Walt Woodard is a living legend in the world of team roping. He has qualified for the NFR more than 15 times, holds two world titles, and is considered to be one of the best ropers in the industry. And, he’s not done yet. At the age of 66, Walt is still competing – one more time at NFR, if he has anything to say about it.
I want to go back to the NFR. That’s the goal. I want to see if a guy 66 years old can make the NFR. Nobody’s ever done that in team roping. That’s my goal.
Growing up, Walt’s dad was a horseshoer and roper. He loved spending time with his dad, which naturally grew into a love for roping. Walt considers himself fortunate to have grown up in California around other ropers, allowing him the opportunity to experience and study everything he could about the sport – from the bottom up.
Get around someone who is a high-level roper. Clean their pens. Clean their stalls. Run their steers up. Do anything that you have to do. Be humble. Don’t have a big ego. Get around them and do whatever you can to get the information.
To Walt, it’s work ethic and attitude that will make a roper successful. He says opportunity always plays a role, but it’s only if a roper has worked hard and prepared himself for those opportunities that they’ll make a difference. That’s the attitude he takes into competition, and why he doesn’t get too worked up about winning.
I don’t get elated when I win because I expect to win. I think if I put the work in and I have my horses prepared…I don’t see how I am not going to win.
Walt’s taught roping and riding for most of his career, and understands the incredibly important role communication between horse and rider plays in a roping team. That’s why he created the Roper’s Bit Collection for Metalab. You can learn more about Walt’s collection here, or shop it here.