Luke and Houston Herbert have become rodeo cowboys, like their dad.
The brothers, natives of College Grove, are bareback riders, like their dad, Joey, and will ride at the Franklin Rodeo May 18-20 at the Williamson Co. Ag Expo Center.
Unlike most rodeo cowboys, they got a late start, not beginning the sport until Luke was 20 years old and Houston was 17. Their dad had competed before the boys were born, but they grew up hearing the stories.
After Luke graduated from Page High School in 2011, his sports participation ended but he still needed an outlet for his competitive drive. The boys talked their dad into going with them, to get on practice bucking horses at their uncle’s house, and their rodeo participation began.
Houston competed in the Tennessee High School Rodeo Association his junior and senior years, then after graduating from Page High School in 2014, is attending the University of Tennessee-Martin and competing collegiately.
Luke, who didn’t get to start rodeo until his high school days were over, attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where he rode bareback horses independently. He graduated in 2015 with a psychology degree and will attend nursing school in January.
The brothers competed together at rodeos sanctioned by the International Pro Rodeo Association (IPRA) last year, with both of them qualifying for the IPRA’s Finals, held in January in Oklahoma City. Last year, Houston had a membership in the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), which sanctions the Franklin Rodeo; this year, both men have a PRCA membership and will compete in Franklin.
Competing in front of the hometown crowd is not always easy, Luke said. “It seems like when you’re far away from home and nobody knows you, that’s when you ride your best.” The boys grew up attending the Franklin Rodeo.
Houston is the recipient of a rodeo scholarship provided by the Franklin Rodeo. This is the second year he has won the scholarship. He will graduate in 2018 from the University of Tennessee-Martin with a degree in ag-business. The boys’ mother, (and Joey’s wife) is Judy Herbert.
The Franklin Rodeo is May 18-20, with performances beginning each night at 7 pm. The rodeo is held at the Williamson Co. Ag Expo Park. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children, and all seats are reserved. Tickets can be purchased online at FranklinRodeo.com or at the gate. For more information on the Franklin Rodeo, visit the website.