December 5-14, 2024


Riley Duvall

Feb 3, 2023

Riley Duvall

 By Susan Kanode

Before superstar Carrie Underwood ever competed on American Idol and told fans she was from Checotah, Oklahoma, the small town in eastern Oklahoma was known as the steer wrestling capital of the world. 

            Rodeo fans across the country had heard about Checotah for years, thanks to the Duvall name. There have been four generations of rodeo competitors in the family. The first one to really make his mark was three-time world champion Roy Duvall. Roy went down the road a lot with his brother Bill Duvall who was known to be one of the best hazers in the business. In fact, Bill helped Roy qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) 24 times. The love of good horses and steer wrestling was passed on to Bill’s sons Sam and Spud. Both made multiple appearances at the NFR. They also had cousins that competed at rodeo championships. 

Riley Duvall pointed to the crowd at Emery Balch after winning round 4 at the 2021 NFR. It was one of his most memorable moments in rodeo .. PRCA photo by Phillip Kitts.

            In 2016, Riley Duvall, Sam’s son, Bill’s grandson and Roy’s great-nephew qualified for his first of four NFRs. He’s been back to Las Vegas to compete four times and is hoping for a fifth. And like the generations before him, Riley is known for his horsemanship and as a great hazer.

            His rewards in the arena are knowing that his horses are working well, seeing the other guys in his truck winning and cashing in himself. He also is a family man who takes supporting them seriously. Riley and his wife Megan have a daughter, Chaney Marie, and a son Cruz. When they can go to rodeos as a family and if the love of rodeo is passed down, there could be a fourth-generation Duvall at the NFR.

Riley and Megan Duvall with their children, Chaney Marie and Cruz.

One on One with the Wrangler NFR Contestant – Riley Duvall 

Favorite movie:  Cinderella Man – It’s a true story. I really like the book. It’s about overcoming extreme adversity and it’s very inspirational. 

Dogs or cats:  Definitely dogs – We have a family dog that my daughter picked out. Her name is Happy and she is a member of the family. 

Favorite dessert:  Simple homemade chocolate chip cookies. The weather has been bad and school was cancelled at home so my wife has been doing a lot of cooking. That’s been good for me. 

Favorite card or board game:  I play lots of Candyland at home. But I am a third generation pitch player on the road. There’s nothing like a group of steer wrestlers playing pitch. 

Favorite sport, other than rodeo:  Golf – I’ve gotten heavily obsessed with golf. We play any chance that we get and we’ve even gotten to the point that we watch it on TV. 

If you weren’t in rodeo, what would you be doing: I have no idea. I haven’t done anything other than rodeo and odd jobs. My great grandpa started the family out rodeoing and it’s all that we’ve ever done. 

What is a favorite childhood memory:  Going to rodeos as a family. I always liked hanging out with the guys that were with my dad. 

Famous person that you’d like to have dinner with: I’m a history guy. It would likely be JFK. He’s the one I’ve read the most books about. 

Best thing about being a dad: Getting to spend time with my kids. They are more fun all of the time. It’s awesome to see them learn and grow. 

Tea or coffee: I drink both all day every day. Iced tea or hot coffee, I’m not that particular. 

Favorite thing about Las Vegas: The atmosphere during the NFR is amazing. For 10 straight days, the electricity is unsurpassed.

Music: I listen to old country and classic rock all of the time. I’m a big Bob Seager guy. 

Best horse you’ve ever ridden:  Scooter (multiple-time steer wrestling horse of the year owned by Tyler Pearson and Kyle Irwin). There were no flaws in him. He scored good and ran hard every time. He was the same horse 100 runs in a row and that’s hard to duplicate. 

What champion buckle do you wear and why: Salinas from 2021. It’s a rodeo that I’ve always wanted to win and I had to win first there to get to the NFR so it’s really special. 

What’s your strong point in the steer wrestling: I try to score good and be aware of every situation. Sometimes you need a businessman’s run and sometimes you need to go all out. 

What would people be surprised to learn about you: That I never really competed in rodeo or rode horses much until I was a freshman in high school. Baseball, football and basketball were a priority until then. 

If you could give advice to a young rodeo competitor, what would it be: Enjoy it at all times, even when it’s hard and you’re getting your butt kicked. Remember that it’s fun and it’s supposed to be fun. Sometimes you’ll look back and realize that these are some of the best times you ever had. 

If you could live anywhere where would it be: I would want to live in the mountains where I had solitude, but my wife is a beach person so that would never work. 

Most memorable rodeo win: Round 4 of the 2021 NFR. I had been to the Golden Circle of Champions luncheon and was paired up with a girl named Emery Balch who had lymphoma. I told her I was going to win the round and after I did, I pointed to her in the seats. I’ve stayed in touch with her family and she is cancer free. That will always be a special memory.  

Follow Riley Duvall on Instagram @rileyduvall12.