Former Ignacio resident Travis Dean Darling was killed instantly when he was ejected from his truck in a rollover accident just after midnight on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, near Rockdale, Texas. He was 23.
Mr. Darling was born to Mark and Barb Darling on Jan. 3, 1989, in Steamboat Springs. Growing up in Steamboat, he loved skiing and horses, his family said.
Mr. Darling began wrestling in second grade. After his freshman year of high school, he moved to Ignacio to be with his father and to gain from his dad’s coaching, his family said. He went to state three years in wrestling with Coach Chris deKay.
Mr. Darling graduated from Ignacio High School in 2007.
He raised and trained his first cutting horse, Tom, when he was 9, and won two Colorado High School Cutting Horse Championships with him. During the same period, he also rode saddle broncos, and was a member of teams representing Colorado at the National High School Rodeo Finals in either cutting or saddle broncos, or both, throughout his high school career.
In the summer of 2009, Mr. Darling won both the Saddle Bronc Championship of the Steamboat Springs Pro-Rodeo Series and the Pat Mantle Memorial Bronc Riding Championship.
Mr. Darling attended Casper College in Casper, Wyo., on a full rodeo scholarship and earned associate degrees in agriculture business and agriculture management.
Since then, he’d been on the road competing in Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned rodeos throughout the Western United States and Canada. His last 83-point ride was in Abilene, Kan., at the Wild Bill Hickok Rodeo on Aug. 4.
Mr. Darling is survived by his mother and stepfather, Barb Lynn and Charlie Cammer of Clark; father and stepmother, Mark and Tammy Darling, of Morrison, Okla.; brothers Jeremy Darling of Boulder and Kane Darling and Chase Darling, both of Montrose; sister, Katie Darling Latham, of Savory, Wyo.; grandmother Mil Plant of Summit County; and grandfather George Darling of Laramie, Wyo.
A celebration of life will be held at noon Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, at the University of Wyoming’s Cliff and Martha Hansen Arena, 460 Highway 230.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund or to a scholarship being established in his name at Casper College