Never having sat on a horse a day in his life and struggling to renter Civilian life, Zach Thomas turned to Bronc riding after returning home from the war in Afghanistan.
Looking to fill the action void from his Army days, rodeo seemed like a good option after remembering his father’s success as a bronc rider while he was growing up. He saw a video of bronc riding on Facebook and felt the call of adrenaline. He thought to himself “that looks terrifying…I think I’d like to try it.”
The first horse Zach decided to ride was a bucking horse straight from the chutes and when he was tossed after the first few seconds…. he was hooked.
Zach dipped his toes into one of the most dangerous sports on the planet and after a nasty fall that broke his back, pelvis, and ribs and caused a concussion and internal injuries, doctors said he wouldn’t ride again for 12 months. He came back in four.
Training tirelessly and finding a new passion for rodeo, it was wasn’t long before Zach had a scholarship with the rodeo team in Casper, Wyoming and went on to receive the Walt Garrison Award from the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.
As a Mental Health worker now currently living Wyoming, Zach is traveling the west as a rodeo gypsy, riding as many rodeos as his schedule will allow him.
- All Photos by Tony Andrew