Lil’ Loyd boys need your help to get to finals

Cauy (from left) and Preston “Cowboy” Loyd pose with their belt buckles they’ve won over the years at various rodeos. Cauy and Preston are headed to the 13th annual Youth Bull Riders World Finals Aug. 4-9 in Abilene, Texas. (Joshua Clark photo)

Joshua Clark,

The steer bucks wildly in an attempt to get the boy – who weighs less than one-tenth his weight – off of his back.

The boy knows he needs to reach a time of eight seconds in order to compete and nothing – nothing – is going to stop him from reaching his goal. 

Those eight seconds are what Preston “Cowboy” Loyd and his little brother Cauy Loyd live for. Both boys are veterans in the rodeo, despite being just 12 and nine-years-old, respectively. 

Preston’s been bull-riding for four years, Cauy for two, and both have qualified for the 13th annual Youth Bull Riders World Finals Aug. 4-9 in Abilene, Texas.

The Loyd boys, as they’re known around the bull riders’ circuit, qualified for the world finals by placing in bull riding at the Flying B Invitational State Finals in Cheyenne June 14.

Cauy came in second in steer riding (ages eight to 10) and Preston, a recent state champion who won the  same award two years ago, came in third for junior bull riding for his age group(11-13).

Their father, Chris, credits the time and practice his boys put into the sport for their success at such a young age.

“We have steers and an arena here at the house they can practice on,” Chris said. “We go around to jackpots twice a week all summer long and they competed in around 10 events leading up to the finals.”

Preston already knows it’s the amount of time he practices which will make him a better competitor.

“You just have to go to the rodeo and hop on and get better,” Preston said. “I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s my favorite thing to do,” he said, a wide grin across his young face.

The boys participated in events beginning in the fall and were slated to compete well into the summer. The novel coronavirus abruptly put a stop to the season in early March, keeping them off of bulls for a couple months.

The boys and their dad don’t think it’s going to be a problem, though.

“We’ve had time to practice here with our steers. The boys are physically fit, so they didn’t have too much of a problem,” Chris said. “They’re wrestling and always active. I think that’s a big thing. It’s mostly mental, it’s like riding a bike. They just need to keep their minds focused.”

It helps that Cauy and Preston having a father who has been competing in rodeo events for several years.

Chris has over 15 years of bull riding experience, reaching the highest levels of the sport.

He rode bulls through junior high and high school, eventually bull riding through college, amateurs and even spending time in the pros. He still competes in roping events in jackpots around the region, but focuses on training his children.

“He told me about it. I hopped on one of these steers down here and I just loved it,” Preston said

Younger brother Cauy said he wants to be a basketball player, but “I like to do the same sports my dad and brother do.”

The world finals will be the biggest event the boys have ever competed in. There will be 10 or more competitors in most of the events and all of their families will be in the stands, cheering their kids on to successful wins.

It’s the biggest rodeo event in the United States, with more than 4,000 bulls ready to ride.

Many of the kids competing  in the big event are children of either current or past riders from the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) sports organization.

The Loyd boys said they aren’t nervous though. They’re just excited to get on a bull and ride their hearts out.

“I always think I’m the best,” Cauy said confidently.

In the meantime, the boys are selling raffle tickets to raise money to finance their trip to the Texas world finals and cover expenses.

Anyone interested in purchasing a chance at a processed half-hog for $10 each can contact their mom, Sandra Loyd, at 307-331-2161.


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