LAMONI, Iowa – There’s something about the rodeo dust on the rodeo trail that gets into a cowboy’s blood.
That’s the life Talton Toney lives, whether it’s on his place just north of Lamoni or while producing bull ridings, barrel races and rodeos throughout the Midwest. It’s a lifestyle, too, and something Toney carries proudly with his wife, Terri, and their children.
“This is what I love to do,” said Toney, who operates T&C Rodeo Co. with his wife.
Together with partners from throughout the community, T&C Rodeo is producing the fourth annual Lamoni Bulls & Barrels Bash beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 29. The bull riding will be sanctioned by the Crossroads Pro Rodeo Association, and the barrel racing will be sanctioned by the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. That just adds to the excitement, because an event like this will draw the very best in the business to south central Iowa.
“We try to put on the best show possible in Lamoni, since it’s my hometown,” said Toney, who has partnered with several local businesses in producing this year’s festivities. “It’s great that American State Bank has stepped on board with us this year, along with the Lamoni Livestock Auction, Bank of the West and KAAN, the radio station out of Bethany. We’ve also had a long relationship with Pettijohn Auto Center in Bethany, which is part of the Ram Rodeo program.
“We’ve got several other local organizations that will be part of the program, and I’m excited to have them all on board.”
The focus of the entertainment package will be the dangerous bull riding action inside the arena, where 140-pound cowboys try to match their skills against some of the most ruthless bucking beasts in the land. In addition, the Lamoni Bulls & Barrels Bash will feature the extreme speed of WPRA barrel racing, where cowgirls will circle the cloverleaf pattern horseback in mind-altering speeds. The fastest run wins.
This is all the creation of Toney, who began his rodeo career nearly 30 years ago riding steers. In fact, he was a champion steer rider, an event set for the youth who hope to ride bucking bulls and horses as they grow older. That’s just what Toney did.
“I rode bulls and bareback horses, and I started in 1991,” he said. “Then I got hurt, stepped on. I took some time off because I was expected to have a liver transplant, then the liver started heeling itself so I didn’t have to have one.”
Toney was also involved in a horrific car wreck in 1993 that put him in a coma for 10 days. He bounced back from it all and competed in rodeo until three years ago.
“I won a lot of rodeos but never won any year-end titles,” Toney said. “But when you’re around rodeo, you see what makes it special. That’s what I want to bring to our events, especially the one in my hometown.”