When one gets hooked into the sport of rodeo, everyone grows together as a family.
However, for a pair of 20-something third generation cowboys from Meeting Creek, it’s already all about family.
The Green brothers — bull rider Garrett and Layton in the saddle bronc — are following a well-worn path that began in the late 1950s with their grandfather Lee Phillips, a well-known rodeo legend, while their parents were also rodeo competitors.
Garrett, 26 and two years older than Layton, got into riding steers at 14 then graduated to bulls two years later and turned pro when he was 19. Layton on the other hand, followed in his dad’s stirrups and turned to riding bucking horses as it seemed to come a lot easier than getting on a bull.
Despite these supposed differences, both boys feel they are pretty similar to each other.
“It’s great to have him doing the same thing and it’s awesome having him around,” Garrett said. “We get to see each other quite often and to have some family to provide support is excellent.”
Layton concurred, “It is awesome, especially when we get set up at the same rodeos and get to watch each other. It doesn’t happen though as often as we’d like.”
And both can very much appreciate what each one continues to accomplish, but Garrett might be a bit more proud of his younger brother’s more recent success.
Last year, Layton won a record number of rodeos, earning over $100,000 and then captured his first Canadian championship, which vaulted him into the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas where he ended up eighth.
“As for how Layton has done and is doing, I couldn’t be happier,” Garrett added. “What makes rodeo more special is we have other family — cousins, uncles, etc — that are a part of it also.”
This season has, and not in a good way, made the two brothers feel ‘green’ with Layton not doing as well as hoped and Garrett needing to take time away.
For Garrett, it was a great start with a Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Canadian Pro Tour win in Lethbridge only to break a hand at a rodeo shortly after. He came back a month later and broke a foot, missing another month of action.
“I came back in early June and I earned a bit of money in Airdrie, a great second place payday in Williams Lake and decent finish in Sundre. I figured there was a chance in Ponoka as I got a good draw in Twisted, but got bucked off,” he said.
“As for the breaks, I don’t think it hurt much. I’m used to long breaks as I don’t head south for the winter. I just keep doing the same old stuff around home — working out, practising, stuff like that.”
Meanwhile, saddle bronc has proven a tough ride with Layton missing out on a big Ponoka Stampede payout he got last year along with only an average spring.
“I thought the horse I got (in Ponoka) would be a tougher ride and usually it’s pretty good, but just didn’t work out this time,” he said. “The season has not been like I wanted so far, seen some weaker horses, but still managing to get some money.”
Outside of Ponoka, Layton has grabbed some good dough, which included decent rides in Williams Lake and Greeley, Colorado. At press time, he had won over close to $30,000 with solid standings in Canada.
However, with the Calgary Stampede Layton hopes things will turn around as he hits the busiest two months of the schedule.
“I will be able to settle down for four days, not having to run overnight to catch different rodeos,” he stated about the Calgary Stampede, which was underway at press tiume. “And unlike some other rodeos, where finding good horses can be tough, in Calgary you know you are going to get runs under great bucking horses and not have to rely on a good draw.”
Following Calgary, Layton has a pile of rodeos lined up both north and south of the border while Garrett is focused on the PBR events looming and a few rodeo including Kelowna and Morris, Manitoba.
As of July 9 Layton was just out of the Calgary Stampede top four in Pool A with $8,000 in earnings. He is to compete in the wildcard on Saturday.