MIAMI — Growing up in a family of cowboys, it is no wonder that Guthrie Murray followed in their footsteps and has is working toward his dreams in rodeo.
"My grandfather rode bulls back in the 1960s and ’70s. I have grown up seeing his pictures hanging on the wall," said Murray. "I always wanted to bulls but my grandfather didn't want me to."
But the dream began long before this year when he was still a teenager.
"My family didn't want me to ride bulls, but my older brother Kyler would sneak off and rodeo. I started following in his footsteps," Murray said.
Murray, a 2011 graduate of Quapaw High School, has his sights set on the 2017 National Finals Rodeo.
"I have gotten close the last two years. I missed it last year by less that $20,000. A couple of wins at a couple of big rodeos and I would have been there," added Murray.
The top 15 in the final standings of the PRCA world standings qualify for the 10-day event each December.
"Right now I am sitting in the top 15 in the world standings. I have to continue to have a strong year and I will be in Las Vegas in December," said Murray.
He is currently sitting at 15th in PRCA world standings.
Murray has been competing for six years in bull riding and has had success in the past but has also has had injuries he has had to overcome.
"I had my back broken in 2013. Then later I broke my riding hand at a rodeo in Cody, Wyoming. I also had my tooth knock out," Murray added.
Despite the ups and downs Murray continues to look back at his influences.
"I have always looked up to retired PRCA and PBR bull rider Michael Gaffney. He was always such a tough rider. I remember watching riding and that is all I wanted to do was ride," said Murray.
Murray has been married to wife Tess for three years now.
"We had our third wedding anniversary in May. Being a wife to someone in the rodeo is not easy. I am on the road a lot and it can take a toll on a marriage. But she is super supportive of me and my dream."
Tess added, "He was doing this long before he met me. He loves what he does and as his wife it is my job to support. I am so proud of him and believe that he will reach his dreams."
He won the bull riding championship last in the American Cowboy Rodeo Association. So far this year he has won the Longview, Texas, rodeo as well as being co-champion of the Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Besides being 15th in the world standing he currently is 10th in PRCA Prairie Circuit, second in the PRCA All American Tour standings and seventh in the PRCA Wrangler Million Dollar standings.
"I just have to keep working harder. I need to spend more time making myself better. I have to continue to work on the little things that help me the most." Murray said. "I have always had this dream of making it to Vegas. I am going to work to make that dream happen. Then work on making it happen more than once."