“Yellowstone” Actor Becomes Back-To-Back Bareback Riding Champion

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Tilden Hooper / Instagram

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WhileYellowstone is about the Dutton family fighting for their ranch, they try to make the cowboy and ranch life as authentic as possible. That’s why they have real-life cowboys in their cast. Forrie J Smith, who plays ranch hand Lloyd, competed in the rodeo circuit before moving to Hollywood to be a horse and stunt man.

In various episodes, other real-life cowboys have made cameos, but one in particular got the entire rodeo world excited about his appearance. That cowboy was Tilden Hooper, who is a champion in bareback riding.

Of his time on set, Hooper said, “Yes, it was a cool experience. I’d love to do it again. The scene I was in, we shot it 30 times before it was just right. It’s neat to see all of the moving parts and how everything works.”

Hopoer also said, “For the bucking scenes, they did all of those in one take, but there was a lot of stuff leading up to it that we did 20 takes of. But the riding part, they understood the danger there. That is what I noticed, they respected the bucking horses and made it as safe and as good as possible.”

After establishing himself as a bareback rider in high school, he’s perfected his craft and is currently ranked number one worldwide. He became the champion at The American Rodeo in 2021.

Hooper competed again over the weekend at The American Rodeo at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas where the finals in bareback riding came down to him and his best friend, Kaycee Field.

After his last ride, he received a score of 91, which beat Field by a half-point, making him the back-to-back Bareback Riding Champion at The American Rodeo! 

See Tilden Hooper’s winning ride below.