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Iowa History Daily: February 27 - Real Cowboy TJ Walter

Iowa History Daily: On February 27, 1949, Cowboy Hall of Famer Thomas “T.J.” Walter was born in Watkins, Iowa. A 12-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier (1970-79, 1981 and 1983) as a bareback rider and a PRCA director of rodeo administration, Walter left an incredible rodeo legacy.

Raised on an Iowa farm with twelve siblings, Walter started riding calves at age ten, bulls at thirteen, and bareback horses at fourteen. While in high school, Walter shined in the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) by winning the Iowa High School Rodeo bull riding and bareback championships in 1966. He also won the NHSRA bareback and All-Around championships in 1967.

Heading west to attend college in Casper, Wyoming, Walter qualified for the NIRA finals in 1967 and 1968. Walter soon turned pro, riding in the RCA/PRCA for 15 years. In addition to making 12 NFR appearances in bareback riding, he also competed  in all the major rodeos in the United States and Canada. Walter went on to win the bareback riding at the Presidential Rodeo in Washington, D.C., and also earned a Gold Medal as coach of America’s 1988 Olympic Rodeo Team.

After his competition days ended, Walter spent the rest of his life helping to advance rodeo while serving on the PRCA Board of Directors for 11 years, as well as working as the director of the PRCA Rodeo Administration for 14 years. Walter’s dedication resulted in induction to the Iowa High School Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, and the National Rodeo Hall of Fame. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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