SHAWNEE — Parker Glenn, 18, from Edmond, was leading the average of the saddle bronc riding by 11 points at the 2019 International Finals Youth Rodeo Thursday evening in Shawnee.
“I’ve always wanted to be like Billy Etbauer,” Parker said. “I never thought I’d be a bronc rider until I got on a steer one day at his house. Ever since then, my main goal is to be like Billy and get the respect from the fans like he has.”
This cowboy rides saddle bronc horses in addition to roping calves and steers in the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association.
“I started in the breakaway roping and then tied calves for a while, but it was never my strong suit,” Parker said. “Ever since I started riding saddle bronc it has gone better for me than roping ever has.”
Born to parents Rodney and Diane, who grew up roping and running barrels, Parker and his older sister, Peyton, 20, were destined to compete.
“My mom’s family raised barrel horses while she was growing up,” Parker said. “Now my sister and I compete for my grandparent’s ranch (XN Ranch) in futurities and derbies on the young horses.”
Competing on a national stage in a high-stakes situation isn’t uncommon for Parker. The first year saddle bronc steer riding was featured at junior high nationals (2015), Parker took home the national championship buckle. He won state by one point in the saddle bronc riding last year after winning all three rounds and the average.
Parker tore his ACL last April.
“It wasn’t my smartest decision,” he admits. “I swung my leg over a three-year-old in the pasture without a halter on. She turned around and run off and my left leg hung up on her neck.”
Parker sought help from Tandy Freeman from Dallas, Texas, for an every day brace and one he can ride broncs in. Parker is considering surgery in August, but may wait until after the United Professional Rodeo Association finals in November.
“I’m sitting tenth in that association as well,” he says.
Parker will attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University in the fall.
“I want to start competing again in the spring semester, then I will try to buy my Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association permit,” Parker said.
After a stint as a professional saddle bronc rider, Parker intends to take over the family business: 4G Concrete.
“I was going to buy my permit in May, but that wasn’t going to happen after I tore my ACL,” Parker said.
He finds both humor and a lesson in his recent injury.
“Rodeo will keep you humble,” he said. “It teaches you to lose. You might be upset and beat yourself up about a loss, but there is always another rodeo to go to.”
Though Parker has competed at the IFYR the last two years, this is his first as part of the Bloomer Trailer team. He entered both the saddle bronc riding and team roping.
“I like everything about Shawnee: the setup, the horses, the people,” Parker said. “There are so many people here that you meet and end up being friends with forever.”
One of those lifelong friends is Jack Wright, who stays with Parker in the trailer.
“Before here, we went on the July 4th run,” Parker said. “We have been best friends since the day we met. We can go months without seeing each other and it is just like we were together the day before. Without rodeo, I would not have met him.”