Bronc rider champ dies in pickup crash

Travis Darling won major PRCA honors

Darling Darling A well-known, and well-respected professional rodeo cowboy died early Sunday when his pickup left FM 487 and rolled over northwest of Rockdale.

Travis Darling, 23, was pronounc ed dead at the scene, about seven miles northwest of Rock- dale, about a mile north of the FM 1600 intersect ion, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Rockdale volunteer firefighters and AMR ambulance personnel received the call at 12:53 a.m.

According to the DPS Trooper Donald Delukie, Darling’s southeast bound 2006 Toyota Tundra pickup swerved off the road, the driver tried to regain control, overcorrected and the vehicle overturned and rolled.

Darling, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle, according to Delukie

Investigators said he was dead when emergency vehicles arrived. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 3 Justice of the Andy Isaacs

Darling was a rodeo standout as a youngster in his native Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

He was the Colorado state cutting horse champion in 2007 and qualified for the National High School Finals Rodeo as a saddle bronc rider, earning a rodeo scholarship to Casper College in Wyoming.

In 2009, he won his home town Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series and joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) the next year.

Darling finished ninth in the rookie saddle bronc riding that year, won the Will Rogers Stampede in Claremore, Oklahoma, and the Cold Lake Stampede in Alberta, Canada.

Over five seasons in the PRCA, Darling won, or tied for 10 saddle bronc riding titles in pro rodeo competition.

Darling had recently lived in Morrison, Oklahoma, and was in the process of moving to the Rockdale area to take a job training cutting horses.

He is survived by his parents, Mark and Barb Darling and a brother, Jeremy Darling.

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2012-11-01 digital edition

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