SHELLEY – The name Wyatt Remington has been spoken around Shelley High School for several years now and not in a bad way.
Remington burst on the scene as a sophomore and played quite a bit of football for a team that went to the 3A state championship game.
As a junior, the talented athlete was an all-conference player in football, playing a hybrid position between safety and outside linebacker and lined up to play each and every game alongside fellow Russets Mason Price, Bryon Leckington, Peyton Whitaker and the likes. He was also a starter on the basketball team that went to state and a baseball team that was pretty good as well.
Little did we know until his senior year that he had even more inside him.
Football and basketball were on the menu for this senior, but he also had a secret desire to be a cowboy and he has made that dream come true through some hard work and dedication this spring. He attended a bull riding school held by the famed College of Southern Idaho rodeo team and, finding that he had a niche there, participated in the District 4 High School Rodeo and ended up as the champion bull rider for the district.
It wasn’t all as easy as it sounds, and when you hear the story told by him, you will see why.
“I have all the respect in the work for Rawley Johnson of Ririe, and he was the defending champion in this district when we got started,” Remington said. “When Rawley started off by winning one of the early rodeos, I was behind the eight ball right from the beginning.”
There is more to the story. Remington began the rodeo season with a broken collarbone that basically kept him out of the first two weeks of rodeo while it was healing. Then there were a couple of rodeos where he was a bit tentative when he got on the back of the bull.
That was when his drandfather Bob told him, “If you aren’t going to have fun out there, then I am not going to waste any more time watching you.”
The following week, Remington got his first win in a performance of the district rodeo, which makes three stops in southern Idaho, in Pocatello, American Falls and Blackfoot. That win boosted him into a tie for second behind Johnson in the standings with only three weeks remaining. He had pretty well assured himself of a spot in the state rodeo finals, a week-long event that determines the state winner and berths in the National High School Rodeo Finals later in the summer.
“Bulls are tough, and in this district, it seems that they bring in tougher and tougher bulls all the time,” Remington said. “I had already proven myself in that I had completed a ride and those are hard to come by around here, now I had to prove myself to the other cowboys in the event that it wasn’t a fluke.”
If you push the fast forward button to the final week of the rodeo action in Blackfoot, it became pretty clear Remington had to win both performances to earn the points to win the event and the belt buckle that went with it and good friend Rawley Johnson would have to miss at least one ride to give up his 10-point lead.
Remington made the eight-second ride on Friday night to force a tie at the top of the standings, and on Saturday afternoon made a second straight ride to seize the championship and head off to the state rodeo with the buckle and title of champion bull rider.
“It was really wild the way things turned out,” Remington said. “I never expected to be able to come from behind and win this and to do it after not riding for a couple of years, it was really sweet.”
And now for the rest of the story.
Remington is not the only person in his family to don the title of champion bull rider at the District 4 rodeo.
Back in the late 1990’s, Wyatt’s father Ramey Remington was the champion bull rider. Then along came his uncle, Garrett Remington, who has made a name for himself in some of the local rodeos as one of the best bull riders around. Garrett won his District 4 title in the past decade and now Wyatt has his title.
That is three generations, so to speak, of champion bull riders all in the District 4 rodeo and all from Shelley.
These cowboys work hard for their titles and they all stared out the same way, riding in an indoor arena in St. Anthony. In fact, all three rode their first bull in the same arena overseen by grandpa Bob Remington from the first time they opened a chute and let the bull out.
“It won’t get any easier from here on out,” Wyatt Remington said. “I know that the competition will get tougher and the bulls always get bigger and meaner as you advance through state and on to nationals.”
One thing is for sure, however, a tough cowboy in Wyatt Remington will be ready and waiting for the first ride he gets in state because that first bull could set the stage for a great finish and a trip to the nationals.