JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -The hard work never stops when you’re a professional. Denard Butler of Checotah, Oklahoma is a professional steer wrestler and has been a part of the rodeo culture since he was three-years-old.
His mother and father are both from Durant, Mississippi.
Last year, the wrestler tied for second in the Dixie National, but says he’s still working for that gold belt buckle.
“Since this is an individual sport, you’re supposed to think you’re the best. Which I think that I’m the best even though I’m still working on my craft,”said Butler.
Denard and his partners Dakota Stermer and Ace Campbell almost never have a day off. They up and ready at 4:30 in the morning and practicing for the next rodeo.
“We’re competing here against some of the best in the world. So you have to stay tuned up and sharp to be successful. It takes everyday, you really don’t get a day off, and if you’re not out there practicing getting better someone else is,”said Campbell.
Steer wrestling is a rough sport. Two cowboys, two horses and a steer. One of those riders has to bring down the steer. To be successful and the best Denard says there’s one thing you have to be when you’re in the ring.
“Relentless, you need to be relentless. And hard work, works. I don’t care what you’re doing. If you work hard at it, you’re going to be good. If you work hard, period,”said Butler.
Denard is a unique cowboy to the Dixie Rodeo, he’s one of the youngest at 34, and last year was the only black steer wrestler. He’s what some may call an example of the hard work he speaks about.
“I want to represent that you don’t need a special background, your mother and father don’t need to be rich, and if you believe in God and if you believe in yourself you can do anything you want to in the world,”said Butler.