Growing up in a family cowboys, it is no wonder that Guthrie Murray decided to follow in his family's footsteps - working toward his dream in rodeo.

"My grandfather rode bulls back in the 1960's and 70's. I have grown up seeing his pictures hanging on the wall," said Murray. "I always wanted to bulls but my grandfather didn't want me to."

The dream began, when Murray was a teenager in Quapaw.

"My family didn't want me to ride bulls but my older brother Kyler would sneak off and rodeo," Murray said. "I started following in his footsteps."

Murray, a 2011 graduate of Quapaw High School, hopes to be among the cowboys taking part in the 2017 National Finals Rodeo.

"I have gotten close the last two years," Murray said. "I missed it last year by less that $20,000. A couple of wins at a couple of big rodeos and I would have been there."

The top 15 in the final PRCA world standings qualify for the 10 day event each December.

"I have to continue to have a strong year and I will be in Las Vegas in December," said Murray.

He is currently sitting in 15th place in PRCA world standings.

Murray has competed for six years in bull riding. While he's had success in the past but has had to overcome a slew of injuries. 

"I had my back broken in 2013. Then later I broke my riding hand at a rodeo in Cody, Wyoming. I also had my tooth knocked out," Murray said.

Despite the ups and downs Murray remains focused.

"I have always looked up to retired PRCA and PBR bull rider Michael Gaffney," Murray said. "He was always such a tough rider. I remember watching riding and that is all I wanted to do was ride."

Murray and his wife, Tess, have been married for three years. 

"Being a wife to someone in the rodeo is not easy," Murray said. "I am on the road a lot and and it can take a toll on a marriage. But she is super supportive of me and my dream."

Tess said Murray has her full support. 

"He was doing this long before he met me," she said. "He loves what he does and as his wife it is my job to support. I am so proud of him and believe that he will reach his dreams."

Murray won the bull riding championship last in the American Cowboy Rodeo Association.

So far this year his wins include the Longview, Texas rodeo as well as the co-champion of the Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Besides being 15th in the world standing, he currently is 10th in PRCA Prairie Circuit, second in the PRCA All American Tour and seventh in the PRCA Wrangler Million Dollar standings.

"I just have to keep working harder," Murray said. "I need to spend more time making myself better. I have to continue to work on the little things that help me the most.

"I have always had this dream of making it to Vegas. I am going to work to make that dream happen. Then work on making it happen more than once."

Guthrie Murray Career Highlights

2017

Won the bull riding at the PRCA Longview, Texas rodeo.

Was co-bull riding champion at the PRCA Old Fort Days Rodeo in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

2016

ACRA Bull Riding Champion

Won the bull riding at PRCA Inter-State Rodeo in Coffeyville, Kansas.

Won the bull riding at the PRCA rodeo in Eureka, Kansas

2015

Won the bull riding at the Will Rogers Stampede PRCA rodeo in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Won the bull riding at the Wichita Falls, Texas PRCA rodeo.

Finished 28th in the final world standings.

2014

Won the bull riding at the PRCA rodeos in Kansas Star Rodeo in Mulvane, Kansas, Western Fest Stampede in Granite Falls, Minnesota, Firefighters Rodeo in Harrison, Arkansas, the Mobetta Stampede Rodeo in Apache, Oklahoma and was co-champion at the Tops in Texas Rodeo in Jacksonville, Texas.

He finished 30th in the world standings.