Layton Oswald, an 18-year-old cowboy, made the most of an unorthodox 2020 rodeo year. The Class of 2020 Oakdale High School graduate did not let the pandemic slow him down in the sport he loves.
After events had been halted for a few months, Oswald saddled up and competed in the Junior World Finals in December in Texas. His partner would be a familiar face, Caleb Green, with Oswald serving as the header and Green the heeler in the team roping event.
Green also grew up in Oakdale but moved to Texas several years ago.
“As luck would have it, Caleb and I reunited and took home first place in the Junior World Finals. Caleb and I always roped together (before he moved). Both of our partners dropped out and when we saw each other and realized that we did not have partners, we teamed up like old times and came out on top,” said Oswald.
The duo finished the competition with times of 6.260, 7.040, 5.270, 6.700 and 4.700 to claim the championship.
Oswald’s father, Les, a decorated rodeo star in his own right, will partner with Layton at the Bob Fiest Invitational scheduled in March. The event will take place in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
“He taught me everything I know and I am fortunate to have him as both a parent and a mentor,” said the younger Oswald.
In order to prepare for the big event in March, Oswald will train as if he is in the arena in Guthrie.
“We will try and duplicate the arena the best we can. That’s the best way to train for something like this. We try to make sure it’s as close as possible.”
Meanwhile, back in Texas, Green had what he called “his most decorated year.” In 2020 Green won regional finals, Texas High School State Championship and also was named the Cowboy Professional Association (CPA) Rookie of the Year.
“When the pandemic hit, I took that time to rest my horses and visited my grandparents. But out here the break did not last long and I was back to work and staying focused on rodeo,” he explained.
Green’s goals for 2021 include repeating as state champion.