Rodeo is in their genes.
“My dad put me on a horse the day I came home from the hospital,” Monty Dyer, Ottawa, said. “We put our children on a horse the day they came home from the hospital. We’ve all been riding ever since.”
That gives an indicative glimpse of the adrenalin that flows through the Dyer rodeo family.
“My dad, Gene, was a calf roper, bulldogger, bull rider and bareback bronc rider,” Dyer said. “Dad is my hero. I always went with him to rodeos. I’ve always wanted to compete in rodeos.
“My wife Jayna’s dad, Cheese Marten of Scranton, was a bulldogger and calf roper, and Jayna grew up competing in rodeos. We met when she asked me to be her team roping partner in high school,” he said. “Our children, Fallon and Kason, have been riding in rodeos ever since they were old enough to compete. Fallon went to the United Rodeo Association (URA) Finals when she was 10-days-old.”
Dyer’s mother, Pat, was a successful barrel racer, and his wife’s mother, Lois, didn’t compete but was always a very strong rodeo supporter.
Trailing his father to jackpot competitions in eastern Kansas, Dyer was soon coming out of the box, collecting his own titles.
“Dad took me to junior rodeos, and my roping success became more important than his own,” he said.
“However, we did both make the URA Finals in the same year. I was a high school junior competing in the open calf roping, and Dad was in the over-40 division,” Dyer said.
Successful in high school rodeo, Dyer reflected on a heartbreaker state finals his senior year.
“I hadn’t missed a calf all year, was leading the calf roping, and my last calf ran through the loop, leaving me fifth and taking me out of going to the finals,” he said
His wife, however, qualified for the National High School Finals after placing in the state top four in cutting, breakaway roping and goat tying.
“Jayna needed a partner in high school team roping for the all-around points, and I heeled for her. She probably should have gotten somebody else, because we didn’t win all that much. She’d chuck, and duck, not look back and wonder why the southpaw on the other end wasn’t doing his part,” Dyer said.
“My excuse is we didn’t practice enough,” he added. “Needless to say, it was a platonic relationship.”
Both competed in college rodeos on full-ride scholarships — Dyer at Fort Scott Community College, and his wife at Northeastern Oklahoma A & M in Miami.
After junior college, Jayna Dyer completed her degree in dental hygiene at Wichita State University, and Monty Dyer started his career training horses and competing in calf roping.
The rodeo cowboy-and-cowgirl relationship eventually turned romantic.
“Jayna and I always saw each other at rodeos and were good friends,” Monty Dyer said. “After college, she borrowed my horse to enter the breakaway at a URA rodeo in Burlingame. Then we started going to rodeos that summer, and the following summer we got married.”
Although Jayna Dyer works a few days a week at Overbrook Family Dentistry, her main career is as executive director for an online health and wellness company called Xyngular.
Monty Dyer built a training facility riding horses of all calibers.
“I took anything they brought me, and it finally caught up with me. I had to have hip surgery,” he said.
That made him more hesitant in his training business, yet there was no way to keep him out of the roping pen.
“I had to miss the URA finals one year,” he said. “Even though the doctor told me I shouldn’t rope, I haven’t missed any since. I’ve been to the URA Finals 22 years.”
Now also serving as the URA president, he has been the open calf roping champion twice, and reserve champion five times.
Notable is that despite his heritage, and obvious cowboy abilities, Dyer is a one-event cowboy.
“I tried bulldogging, and I have team roped, and still might on occasion,” he said. “However, I’m left handed, and prefer to calf rope.
“Maybe it’s because I was small growing up, and some people didn’t think I could handle the calves. I’ve done my best to prove them wrong,” he theorized.
Fallon, 15, and Kason, 11, are following closely in their parents’ and grandparents’ boot steps.
“We’ve been going to junior rodeos ever since they were old enough,” Monty Dyer said.
A freshman at West Franklin High School, Fallon has collected many breakaway roping, goat tying, barrel racing and other rodeo titles in junior competitions. She now ranks first in breakaway roping, and high in her other events of the Kansas High School Rodeo Association standings.
“We hope she’ll continue and make the high school national finals,” her father said. “Fallon’s really an all-around athlete. She can run so fast that she’s set school and league records, and plays basketball and other sports.”
Succeeding his dad and both granddads, Kason has won about every junior breakaway roping event there is at one time or another.
“He also loves to hunt. He always has a rope, or a gun, or both in his hands. He has two coyote dogs, too,” Monty Dyer said.
Practice makes perfect, and the Dyer children have regular daily sessions.
“They are always ready, but sometimes Fallon has to rest some after track practice before she starts roping,” Dyer said. “It keeps their mom and I busy providing the calves and pushing them through the chute.”
Horses are the key to success, and Dyer has trained the rope horse he uses, and the ones ridden by his children.
“I have a 13-year-old paint mare, Rain, that I calf rope on, and Fallon uses in breakaway,” he said. “Kason ropes on a 9-year-old sorrel gelding called Banjo that Fallon uses in goat tying too.”
Although Dyer now has more than 40 calf roping titles, his wife hasn’t roped or competed in rodeos for two years.
“But, she says she hasn’t retired,” he said.
Expanding his cattle operations, Dyer now limits his horse training business.
“We put on the Kansas Junior High Rodeos last year, and we supply the calves for many of the URA rodeos,” he said.
“These kids are the important thing to us now,” Dyer said. “We try to help them all we can with the right horses, practicing and competing in rodeos. I think they’ll both continue to rodeo, and I hope they’ll both make the high school national finals. They’ll probably rodeo in college, too.
“I expect Kason to eventually rodeo professionally.”