Schae Richards, managing editor
For Trudy and Randy Austin of Weston, rodeo is a way of life. Both raised in Southeast Idaho and “rodeoers” by heart, the couple has passed down their country roots to their children and grandchildren, creating a family legacy.
Trudy grew up on a farm in Malad. Her father taught her how to ride horses and everything she knows about them. She said love for horses was a mutual feeling in her family.
“My father felt a deep connection to the horses he owned,” Trudy said. “My father’s parents and grandparents used horses throughout their lives, and my dad purchased the family farmstead from his father and is still living there.”
Trudy competed in high school rodeo as did her two brothers, who went on to compete in college rodeo and PRCA. Trudy said one of her favorite things is to teach horses how to pole bend – something her grandfather also loved doing.
“My mom’s father also farmed, had a few cattle and enjoyed being involved with the local posse,” she said. “His favorite event was pole bending.”
Like Trudy, Randy loves horses and has a rodeo background.
“Randy had the opportunity to help exercise, race and break colts,” Trudy said. “He gained a love for horses doing that.”
Trudy and Randy met in high school when they competed in high school rodeo. Trudy was a freshman at Malad High School and Randy was a senior at West Side High School.
“I wasn’t real impressed with him at first because he borrowed the horse I ran in the barrel racing and pole bending to steer wrestle on,” she said. “I would pole bend, then unsaddle so he could steer wrestle. When he was done, I would have to hurry and re-saddle so I could run barrels. We have shared horses from the time we first met.”
Trudy competed in rodeo throughout high school, participating in barrel racing, breakaway roping, cow cutting, goat cutting, pole bending and team roping. Randy competed in bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping.
Trudy and Randy continue to compete alongside their children and grandchildren. Their family has attended hundreds of rodeos in Idaho and Utah in the last 40 years on the amateur and professional level. They have also competed at the national level traveling to Illinois, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Each of their four children competed in rodeo in high school, and two of their sons, Jace and Kyler, received rodeo scholarships from Utah Valley University. Trudy said their oldest son, Judd, competes in Wilderness Circuit rodeos each year, and is competing in steer wrestling in the PRCA this year.
Together, their family has received many awards and titles over the years, including All Around Cowboy in the junior high division of high school rodeo, All Around Cowboy/Cowgirl titles at the high school level and several event championships in high school rodeo.
Trudy said rodeo has helped their family in more than one way.
“Rodeo has blessed us with relationships that we will cherish forever,” Trudy said. “Those relationships within our own family, extended family, friends and horses have made us stronger individually and as a whole.”
Their children are quick to tell some lessons they have learned through rodeo like, “Hard work always pays off whether you win or lose,” and, “No one else is going to do the hard work for you. You have to do it for yourself.”
Trudy and Randy have loved seeing their children and grandchildren rodeo over the years, and know their rodeo legacy will continue for many years to come.
“Because Randy and I love rodeo, we enjoy watching our grandchildren rodeo,” Trudy said. “Four of our ten grandchildren are starting to compete this year in junior rodeo. It is fun to reconnect with the people we rodeoed with who are watching their grandchildren. It’s like our rodeo family just keeps growing.”
Trudy knows that being a “rodeo family” requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice, so she encourages families, as well as her own family, to do what works best from them.
“You have to be willing to work really hard, share, support, be unselfish and sometimes carry not only your own load, but everyone else’s too,” Trudy said. “That does not work in every family situation, so we just want our children’s families to be happy doing whatever works for them. We will love watching our grandchildren do what they love doing.”
Outside of rodeo, the Austin family enjoys watching and participating in competitive sports like basketball, football and volleyball, and whenever possible, going on vacation.
Trudy is also co-owner of U&I Furniture in Preston, and Randy manages the Logan Coach Trailers in Logan.